DAY 22: A Wake-Up Call . . . and More

“On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘He’s alive!’ Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.” (Acts 20:7-12 )

People sleeping during church is not at all unusual. An innocent little nap during the sermon that turns fatal . . . now that’s unheard of. 

But then, what about the dead coming back to life? Impossible, right? 

Unless your name is Eutychus. 

It wasn’t that Paul was a bad preacher; he just wasn’t that eloquent (see how he describes his style in 2 Corinthians11:5-6). Maybe Eutychus had a hard week, or he was up late at night, or the service went longer than usual.  Whatever the reason, he fell asleep. Usually that wouldn’t be all that much of a problem but he had chosen a rather unusual seat – a window ledge on the second floor. A good place to catch the night air, bad place for a nap.

Try to imagine the screams when Eutychus lost his balance and landed outside with a thud . . . the bedlam of worshippers rushing down the steps and out the door to find him on the ground. As he was being checked for breathing and a heartbeat, prayers went up from those who knew and loved him. Nevertheless, he was dead. 

But into that moment of death and dismay came the power of the risen Christ. Prompted by the Spirit, Paul threw his arms around Eutychus and declared to the crowd that he was alive. Imagine the joy of that moment.  When Eutychus returned to life; that was a result that was immeasurably more than anyone would have ever expected.

Sometimes we need a wake-up call in life . . . and hopefully it comes without falling out the window. Sometimes we simply lose consciousness of what God is saying and doing in our lives and we grow weary. 

Perhaps that is one of the side benefits of a capital campaign. It can be a time for a wakeup call. It can be an opportunity to renew the mission focus going on in your ministry. A capital campaign, a building project, a renewed vision can be a time when you might experience God breathing new life into the faith and actions of His people. And yes, such an effort calls for sacrificial giving, but not (usually) to the degree that Eutychus experienced when he fell out the window. 

During this capital campaign, why not pray the Lord might gently give you a wakeup call.