Sleeping through the sermon.

Paul traveled. A lot. He did seminars and workshops, just short visits to towns. He did longer visits as well, kind of on-site consultations.

One town that shows up a couple times is Troas. One time, Paul went planning to visit for awhile, had a vision the first night, and took off across the Mediterranean  to Greece. The next time he’s there, several years later, he stays a week. At the end of the week, they get together and Paul starts talking. And keeps talking.

Paul was talking so long because this was his last time to see this particular group, his last time to talk with them. And just like happens on the last night of vacation or the last time you get to see someone on a trip through town, you want to make sure that everything that needs to be said gets said.

And so as Paul talked and as the room was full of lamps (a fact that Luke notes, almost as if we looking at it later would be able to say “the oxygen was being sucked out of the room”), one kid falls asleep (as kids do) and when he was sound asleep, he falls. From the third story window. To the ground. To his death.

They all go down, Paul throws himself on the kid’s body and the kid comes back to life. And they go back upstairs and the eat something (because that’s what you do after a resurrection) and then Paul keeps talking til sunrise.

I’m guessing that people paid way more attention now. There is something about a miracle that can sharpen your attention.

It’s a peculiar Bible story. A party where no one gets drunk, there isn’t much food, it’s mostly talking, and they still might need the cops.

3 thoughts on “Sleeping through the sermon.

  1. Rich Dixon

    Is it okay to say that I don’t get it? Does this story have a point, or are you trying to tell me something and I’m missing it?

    Maybe my vision’s clouded. I can only wish that Paul had been at a Tucson shopping center last Saturday. Perhaps a troubled young man might have listened.


  2. Pingback: Sometimes there isn’t a point | 300 words a day

  3. Bethany

    I once heard Kenda Dean, a Princeton Seminary youth ministry professor, preach on this text and her question still haunts me. Why did no one notice the boy on the fringes? Why didn’t they care until he was dead?


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