Sunday, October 13: Bound by the Spirit
It’s easy to say goodbye to some people at times – like the neighbor who throws his grass clippings over the fence into your yard every week. It’s never easy, however, to say goodbye to people you really love and care about. The tighter the ties the more difficult it is to loosen the knot.
Nevertheless, there are times when you need to make a tough call and there are times when you have no choice. Such is the case for the Apostle Paul in Acts chapter 20. God has called him to go to Rome but along the way he stops to say goodbye to the leadership of the Ephesian church for what he believes to be the very last time.
The message from the Holy Spirit has been that “bonds and afflictions are waiting” for him and he’s taken that to mean that he’s going see Jesus sooner rather than later. That explains the deep emotion of this passage. At the end there is a lot of hugging and a lot of tears because Paul is convinced that he will never see his friends again on this side of eternity.
Before that, though, Paul has some final instructions for his fellow servants in leadership. It’s kind of a coaching session where uses his own life and ministry as an example to challenge and encourage them. But what he says to them is valuable for all of us. See you on Sunday.