Monday, January 22, 2018

Worshiping by Falling Out Windows

When my wife and I were dating in college, I was part of the university's audition choir. Not long after we were engaged, I had to leave for a week on a choir tour. That week involved the first days where we had not actually seen each other since we had started dating and the separation seemed painful.  We would call each other each night when my concert was over and spend an hour on the phone (which I now realize meant a lot because my wife loathes talking on the phone). The night that I got back from the tour, we had missed each other so much that we spent the entire night talking. We kept intending to get to our respective homes to get some sleep but we didn't want to leave. We were both very tired the next day in class but we trudged through it. Spending that entire night talking was one of the highlights of my life.

Acts 20 contains a similar story. Paul had been in Troas for a week and planned on leaving the next day. Apparently, there was still much that Paul wanted to share with the believers there because his teaching lasted well into the night. As it grew dark, they lit lamps and Paul continued teaching until about midnight. "Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on" (Acts 20:9, NIV) In his sleep, Eutychus fell out of the third-story window to the ground below where he died. Paul rushed downstairs, resurrected him, and they all went back upstairs and continued church until daybreak.

Can you imagine a time of church teaching lasting that long today? A time of teaching and worship that lasts through the entire night? I know some churches are different, but most of the churches where I have served would go bonkers if a service lasted two hours, much less went all-night long. Paul's service was so long they stopped to eat so they could keep going! They were so concerned about learning as much as they could, about spending as much time together with other believers as they could, that they spent the entire night together.

The next time you find yourself checking your watch in worship, ask yourself, what is so important? The next time you start wondering when you can sneak out of a church fellowship, take note of who you are with and figure out why you would rather be somewhere else. No church is perfect and no group is without flaws but the body of Christ is worth falling out of windows and into love with.

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