Acts Chapter 19

The riot in Ephesus struck a note in me as I thought about where we are in today’s attitudes in regards to our society’s business practices. Demetrius’ business in idol making was threatened by the Gospel being preached because the goddess Artemis was not a true god.  Money, success, power are driving forces for business here in Silicon Valley as evidenced by the high prices and wages in our valley.  The cost of living are so high that most families have both father and mother working long hours just to keep up with mortgages, utilities and food. Dare we speak to our society about these values being false gods?  I remember when most businesses were closed on Sundays.  Today, most businesses are open on Sundays and it being one of the most profitable day of the week.  What if a “Paul” would speak out against these business practices?  However, what about those services that are absolutely necessary 24-7 like hospitals, police, fire…?  Are restaurants, retail stores, gas stations, recreational activities also necessary?  Can our society function without these services?  Perhaps the core message of this passage is whether or not these practices are just a cover for economic concerns.  Are they open purely for opportunities for more profit ?  Are we encouraging these businesses by patronizing them by taking friends out for breakfast, lunch or dinner on Sunday? Shopping?  How do we interpret Jesus’ statement that the “Sabbath was made for man and not the man for the Sabbath “  and “…the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).  The main idea I get is that it is the intent rather than the letter of the law.  The intent is that we love God and man, and not necessarily the letter of the law. Maybe we need to discern what is necessary and what is want or convenience.  Can a Christian stay in a business that  opens on Sundays for better profits?  How can the church accommodate those who have to work on Sundays? Saturday services?  Small groups or house churches that meet on week nights? Let’s begin to think of what the church is placed on Earth for.  What does God want His people to be?