Acts 20:7-12 (NIV) - “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘He’s alive!’ Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.”
We are probably familiar with all-nighters in the context of preparing for exams or completing projects, but the all-nighter in this passage is entirely of a different sort. We see this community of believers gathered for teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer, and what made this day so special was the visit of Paul. Their time together lasted so late, we see one man fall asleep and actually die from his fall. But Paul is able to bring the man back to life, and if that wasn’t enough activity for one evening, they all return to the upper room to eat some more and listen to Paul talk until the morning. As the people leave it says they “were greatly comforted.”
We too should be comforted as we read this passage. There is something about Paul’s presence, his words and his actions that even the death of one of their own doesn’t take away from, but rather brings opportunity to see God’s loving and mighty power at work in their midst.
Response: Let’s pray today to ask that our presence in the community/in small group would bring comfort, encouragement, joy, help. Let’s pray that our words would be true, life-giving, full of wisdom. Let’s pray that our actions would reflect God’s love, compassion, and be Spirit-empowered. You can also worship with this song, “Singing Over Us.”