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Paul Preaches in Rome, Acts 28:23-31


One of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me has been an openness to believe the unbelievable and make the impossible possible. When I was a kid, my very Christian parents wanted to explore as many spiritual possibilities as they could - never to stop questioning and seeking, but always to be learning and growing. I remember sitting in a room full of pillows, chanting my super-secret mantra ("om" as it turned out) as we learned the fundamentals of transcendental meditation. We experimented with the power of crystals and pyramids, ESP, meditation, positive and negative energy flows, auras, prayer, and more. Some of the spiritual practices stuck; others didn't. But it has shaped me to be the kind of person that is willing to consider all kinds of things. Maybe those pan out, and maybe they don't. But I never want to be the kind of person that is closed to anything new. There are so many brilliant, amazing, miraculous, wonderful, enlightening, curious, and remarkable things to experience in this world. I don't want to miss any of it.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Acts 28:23-31

After they had set a day to meet with him, they came to him at his lodgings in great numbers. From morning until evening he explained the matter to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets. Some were convinced by what he had said, while others refused to believe. So they disagreed with each other; and as they were leaving, Paul made one further statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah,

‘Go to this people and say,
You will indeed listen, but never understand,
    and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
    and their ears are hard of hearing,
        and they have shut their eyes;
        so that they might not look with their eyes,
    and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn—
    and I would heal them.’

Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.