RHYTHM: Defense – Acts 26

Lectionary for youth ministry acts 26Friday before Proper 5: Acts 26:1-11

Reading: Acts 26:1-11

Defense

Paul is in full swing now in Acts 26, and as a Pharisee he’s well armed to make his defense of Christ as the fulfillment of the promises of old for Israel. Much of our modern understanding of the person of Jesus is seen through the lens of Paul’s words. We’ve borrowed so much of the history of God’s people that we’ve come to think of it as our own. These are our promises, our prophecies, and our fulfillment. Thank God the Messiah has finally come. For us.

You know what I wish we had more of in our Bible? Initial explanation of the good news of Jesus to the Gentiles. Because that is most of us.

I was raised in the Christian church. So I started with Jesus after 2,000 years of theological construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction, then worked backwards. I didn’t ever not know Jesus, and have no opportunity to. Not that I want… Let me explain it differently.

I never saw the original Star Wars movies when I was a kid (which is when they came out). I was raised in a home where we didn’t get a lot of “secular entertainment.” I saw E.T. on a fluke where my parents didn’t realize a friend’s birthday party was going to the movie. But I lasted into adulthood not seeing them. I was immersed in the culture of it though, and pretty well knew the storyline anyway.

When it was announced that Lucasfilm had sold the rights and Star Wars: The Force Awakens was coming out, I knew I wanted to watch it with my boys. So, finally, I watched the original movies for the first time with my boys watching for their first time. They were great. But what I didn’t get to experience was the wonder of seeing them in a world where they didn’t already exist, like all my friends had back in 4th grade. In a world where they were defining their own meaning, eventually standing the test of time.

I’d love to experience Jesus like that—coming from out of nowhere, bringing a new life that I didn’t realize was missing.

For reflection:

Does that make sense? If you didn’t know the backstory of Israel and the Jewish people, what would Jesus mean to you?

 

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