Dear Church Family,
Ordinary and sustained practices yield extraordinary results over time.
Acts 17:6-7 While they were searching for Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly, they attacked Jason’s house. 6 When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities, shouting, “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has entertained them as guests. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus.”
The people of the early church pledged themselves to the rule of “King Jesus,” and through their life and proclamation of him turned the world upside down. And what did they do that was so radical?
A Roman Governor named Pliny wrote to the Emperor Trajan about the practices of Christians, “He says that they meet on a certain day before light where they gather and sing hymns to Christ as to a god. They all bind themselves by oath, “not to some crimes”, says Pliny, as though that is what he would have expected; rather, they pledge not to commit any crimes such as fraud, theft, or adultery, and subsequently share a meal of “ordinary and innocent food”.
If that sounds familiar, it should. Worship, covenant life together, and the Lord’s Supper. These were the practices of the people of the early church that turned the world upside down.
We understand that worship is central to our lives as believers, but the covenant life part may be unfamiliar. In essence, it is a small group of fellow believers who know each other’s lives enough to covenant together and experience accountability in those covenants. “They bind themselves by oath,” wrote Pliny. Who are you bound to and why?
What would that look like for a church like ours? I’m not sure, but I believe it is worth exploring. Stay tuned, and I will as well.