held, part 2 Acts 20

31 May

from yesterday’s Acts study,

two questions today (May 31) please consider how to answer them ( both together) after reviewing today’s passage also from Acts 20 below) … consider yesterday’s Acts’ reflection in Paul’s talking v Paul’s holding… my thoughts will be posted on Sunday, 31 May  

Today, no thoughts, only questions that desire to ‘hold’ 

Before we can conclude, answer, probe any questions, here are some thoughts on how questions, essential, thoughtful questions can hold.’

I read the word systemically. In the early morning a book fm the Old Testament; ( presently Jeremiah ); in the evening a book from the New Testament ( presently 2 Corinthians ) and the Psalm of the day. ( presently I am at the 61st Psalm- and I will repeat this Psalm on Monday 1 June; Tuesday will be the 62nd Psalm )

In the midst of reading I pray ‘ Lord show me your living.’

The word lives and as a living being must be seen and felt; engaged. Loved and loved by, the, His word.

As I pray, I ask, ‘speak.’ And He speaks through how His word, His flesh, connects – images and words; events and people; connections and questions, essential questions He raises in my heart, my mind.

Thus, yesterday’s questions.

essential question 1: why didn’t Paul with his companions travel to the city of Ephesus …? ( besides being in a hurry)
eq 2: how is Paul held by the Ephesian elders? How is it/was it similar to how he held Eutychus at Troas ? What does such ‘holding’ speak of, mean?

my answers, after prayerful questioning, pausing, asking…

1. Paul does not travel to Ephesus,at this time, because he was being held by another people, another city, another image: Jerusalem. He wanted, desired to be held by his spiritual home, parent. Held by both his past and present.

2. The Elders of Ephesus come out of their city to Paul – to pray, kneel, hold and cry with him. They are holding him as all those who can ever hold; who can ever love.

They hold Paul as a new born. They hold to give life, as Paul held Eutychus: their touch brings life. This is what Paul covets, a life well held, a life well examined.

And this is what, as I question the living word brings to me: life, daily life.

The text – my life- ( Acts 20 with my questions follow) from yesterday follows.

‘We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot. 14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. 15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Chios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus. 16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost.
17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
36 When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. 37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.”

essential question 1: why didn’t Paul with his companions travel to the city of Ephesus …? ( besides being in a hurry)
eq 2: how is Paul held by the Ephesian elders? How is it/was it similar to how he held Eutychus at Troas ? What does such ‘holding’ speak of, mean?

Holding means life. Life.

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