Who held the rope?
From the text of Act 9: 19b-31
New International Version (NIV)
19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews,[a] but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
What bring us to this topic now?
This has been a 14 months season of big events:
I am certainly not the first person to study all the dynamics behind an event. I do not claim originality.
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
This theme is ever new because the fact is ever new.....
For an endeavor to succeed, whether a business, an orchestra, a hospital or a church, there must be a network of supporters, visible and invisible.
a) a disciple who always stayed backstage was Peter's brother , Andrew. Andrew played behind the curtain, was a "second fiddle" in the orchestra. He is a shining example for all of us, for sooner or later everyone must play the second fiddle do a backstage job. (escuse my overlapping metaphors)
Andrew a) never preached a sermon.
b) never wrote a gospel.
c) never did a miracle.
d) is never mentionned oustside the gospels
Yet it was Andre who
a) introduced his brother, brought Peter( imagine Christianity without Peter)
b) introduced a Tourist from Ethiopia ( First example of the international characteristic of Christianity
c)at the Outdoor stadium beside the sea, 5,000 people, Andrew brought the boywith the 2 dried fish and the 5 loaves. Everyone followed that example of Sharing. That is what Christians do.
"Thank you Andrew"
Miracle : everyone will follow a good example "
b) Support troops: the seven needed to keep one fightingman at the battle front.Such a ratio is probably similar in any worth while human entreprise, and a second look at the 3 year campaign of Christ uncovers another example of support personnel. A few are mentionned, most are not.
Matthews 27:55 comes close to the point :
"Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs."
Some are named Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. These amongs others unnamed to care for his/their needs.
Support troops, behind the curtain, playing second fiddle, a piece of John Donne's continent.
You are indispensible, destined to live at their time to fulfill the role that is your to play.