The Chair and the Desk, 2/16/16

From the chair:

“Then Paul took the men, and the next day he purified himself along with them and went into the temple…When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, crying out ‘Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place.’ For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple…And as they were seeking to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion…Then the tribune came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains…

“As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, ‘May I saw something to you?’ And he said, ‘Do you know Greek? Are you not the Egyptian, then, who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out into the wilderness?’ Paul replied, ‘I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no obscure city. I beg you, permit me to speak to the people.’ And when he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the steps, motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language, saying:”

-Acts 21

I’m amazed that Paul lets this go on. Maybe he tried to fight it here and there, but the way Luke tells the story, he was largely just carried along by all sorts of folks who wished him all sorts of harm. Yet, by the end of the chapter, there he is, secure in the barracks, with practically the whole city, standing in silence, waiting to hear what he has to say. There may be times when we must seek out a voice, but there will be other times when we are simply handed a microphone, and must be ready with the character and truth and Spirit to speak as one in Christ.

From the desk:

“Whenever the Scriptures are read without first being enjoined upon the speaker himself, whenever they are read as an intellectual lesson, merely as something for men to know, or as so many words, the performance becomes tame and glad. It inspires no realization of worship. No conception is awakened that it comes from God.”

-S.S. Curry, The Province of Expression, p.140


“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.



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