This week I reflect on Acts 21, and ask how Paul’s delay in visiting Jerusalem and the resulting encounter with Agabus might help us as we continue in coronavirus lockdown and the uncertainties of the future.
Many of us are travelling through the book of Acts this May, and today we reach Acts 21.
Acts 21 starts with Paul – who is on way to Jerusalem, and wanting to go to Jerusalem – we know that from Acts 20 where he seems to be desperately wanting to go. But we read that God’s Spirit tells Paul not to go. After being so desperate, that must have been painful for Paul.
So instead of going to Jerusalem, Paul goes to a number of other places, and while in Judea, meets a prophet called Agabus. Now Agabus comes and takes Paul’s belt, then ties his own hands a feet together and says – this is what the Spirit says will happen to the owner of this belt in Jerusalem.
I wonder how paul felt in that moment… anxious, worried, sacred?
A short while later, we read Paul and his team got ready and started headed towards Jerusalem. And, time for a trailer – God does great things through Paul in Jerusalem.
Reflecting on those snippets of this part of Paul’s story… I wonder if there’s something for us as we live in lockdown.
I wonder if, through pausing, and then encountering Agabus, Paul was more prepared for his destination, more ready for what would happen in Jerusalem, and therefore more able to deal with it. I wonder whether, after his encounter with Agabus, Paul saw his destination differently?
There’s been a lot of things happen we were not prepared for at the start of 2020. Lots of things are on pause, but it doesn’t mean things won’t happen. But as the world keeps saying, things will be different – to what extent we don’t know, but we’re being told to expect a new normal.
But just like for Paul who readied himself and carried on, I wonder if we too need to be open to readying ourselves for the new normal that is to come. Opening ourselves for the Spirit’s prompting.
To see lockdown as a space to listen to God’s Spirit as we pause, and allow God’s Spirit to make us ready for what is to come? To be ready for the great things of God that are to come.
As the uncertainties of lockdown continue,
help me to make space to pause and listen for your Spirit,
ready me for the future,
and fill me with excitement for the great things to come.
Join the conversation
Have you paused to listen to God recently?
Have you know God’s Spirit strengthen and preparing
Could you share the story of your encounter with us you?
Comment below – I’d love to hear from you.