28 Weeks Acts Devotion Week 20
WEEK 20 - ACTS 20 - December 24, 2018
Written by Christa Midkiff; member, New Covenant UMC, Edmond
Acts 20 is about a season of full-throttle ministry for Paul, which many of us can relate to, especially in the full-throttle season of Christmas. All of life is careening ahead: the endless behind the scenes work, the important decisions in ministry, the loud claims, the hard sells, the thrills and disappointments, the challenges and successes, the big spectacle of it all, and the exhaustion. And in the middle of all this, as Ann Voskamp so beautifully writes, “Christ comes small, the micro-macro-miracle... whispering “Seek Me”.
Isn’t it amazing that today as well as in Paul’s day this never ending activity brings with it lesson after lesson and glimpse after glimpse of God’s provision and glory, if we only can see them? If we take time to notice, we will see that Jesus is born to us every single day.
Jesus is born in a cave without festive decor, without strength, without a crowd, without approval, without a home but bringing many gifts nonetheless: a call, a new understanding of community and suffering, an intimate relationship with God, and the ultimate gift of grace, life everlasting.
So let’s take a look at Paul’s ministry, remembering in each situation, Jesus is forever being born unto us, coming to us new every morning on each of these days, in every situation. Please join me reading the scripture twice slowly and then simply sitting with God and trusting God. Letting go of our evaluation, our teaching, our guardedness, our successes, our suffering, our wounds. Once again, let’s offer ourselves to God. Just sitting as we trust God with these moments, intentionally giving God our will, our freedom, our heart’s desires, and our struggles, surrendering ourselves (all of who we are) during this specific time to His work in US this day. Please spend 20 minutes resting in this trust.
Suggested reading schedule
• Monday - Acts 20:7-11 - Paul, teaches on and on until a man falls asleep, falls off a ledge, and dies. Paul notices, restores the man’s life, and keeps talking until morning....in a back room, hidden from view, Jesus is born.
• Tuesday - Sabbath (Christmas Day)
• Wednesday - Act 20:22-24 - Paul teaches about accepting suffering and even welcoming the call to walk right into it in Jesus’s name.... in a back room, hidden from view, Jesus is born.
• Thursday - Acts 20:25-31 - Paul teaches that there will be false prophets, arising from among your own friends.... in a back room, hidden from view, Jesus is born.
• Friday - Acts 20:32-34 - Paul teaches the people to stay true to God....and in a back room, hidden from view, Jesus is born.
• Saturday - Acts 20: 1-2, Acts 20:36-38 - Paul weeps with his friends over their departure from one another’s community... in a back room, hidden from view, Jesus is born.
• Sunday - Acts 20:13-16 Paul travels and ministers, skipping some places to get to Jerusalem by Pentecost... in a back room, hidden from view, Jesus is born.
Reflection question: In your experience, what do you hear Jesus whispering to you?
Prayer focus: Pray for the young people of the United Methodist Church.
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