S (Scripture): Acts 26:20b [Paul said to King Agrippa:] “My message was that they should change their hearts and lives and turn to God, and that they should demonstrate this change in their behavior. 21 Because of this, some Jews seized me in the temple and tried to murder me. 22 God has helped me up to this very day. Therefore, I stand here and bear witness to the lowly and the great. I’m saying nothing more than what the Prophets and Moses declared would happen: 23 that the Christ would suffer and that, as the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to my people and to the Gentiles.”
O (Observation): Paul stands accused by the Jews of inciting unrest and they make Paul stand trial. The Roman authorities don’t care much for these problems, but when the skirmishes become unrest for a large part of the population, they listen in.
King Agrippa listens to Paul’s claims.
But maybe these words are more for God’s followers.
Paul lays it out: Jesus was always part of God’s plan. As told through Moses and the Prophets, Jesus – the Suffering One for All – was not a backup plan when people “messed up.” People were never perfect, and thus wandering in the dark, fighting for self-preservation and self-interest.
Jesus is the light to all people, a true revelation of God’s glory.
And now, Paul simply witnesses to the light for all who would hear. He bears God’s redeeming word for all the heat.
A (Application): Quite often we feel like we have to defend Jesus and defend our faith in a preemptive way. Like anything we do could rightly defend our God.
I’m not saying we don’t stand up for peace and justice, but we first struggle with the idea that we are first and foremost seeking the light for ourselves. Sounds selfish, but this is the starting point for all of us. To stumble in the dark until the light is revealed to us in the person of Jesus.
In receiving the light, we are then compelled to share our story to any who would listen.
And as we share the light, as Paul does, we also remain humble, because the light is never ours to own. We simply carry the light for God. We give thank to God that we can carry that light that never diminishes.
We humbly, with broken hearts and minds, carry this light into our homes, work places and schools.
May we be the light…humbly thanking our God for brining the light to us in the first place.
P (Prayer): Lord, shine your light on this poor sinner. Amen.