Daily Office Study- 9-29-2020
The Gospel continues to turn the world upside down. We have seen how Paul has been harassed in many cities. In Philippi Paul was chased out for "turning the world upside down." Now he is in Ephesus and the incredible number of conversions is starting to disrupt the city. Ephesus was heavily involved in the production of idols of Artemis. There was a temple dedicated there to her and people made a large profit off of this trade. As people converted to Christianity, however, they would have given up their former ways of life. This is what people did. Earlier people would sell their land. Some lost income from their slaves. Still others changed their homes. Lydia funded the mission of the church with her wealth. While the passage does not tell us that any of the silversmith's gave up their work of producing idols, given the rest of the book this would make sense. The original call of the disciples was to leave behind their old work for the new work of the Kingdom. Peter and Andrew left their fishing business. James and John left their father and his business. Matthew stopped being a tax collector, and so on. Acts reveals to us the practical implications of the gospel. It forces us to re-evaluate everything, family, finances, work. The world is turned upside down. For those who are unwilling to give it all up, this is a threatening proposition. This should cause us to reflect, are our current economic promoting idols? They might not be made of silver, but at there other idols at work? Does the economic desire for profit cause destruction to God's creation; human or otherwise? Do our economies lead to human flourishing or not? Or have we grown comfortable and cozy with the current economic situation such that we are unwilling to burn our valuables for the cause of Christ?