My Thoughts. . .

Friday, 12-31-2021

In Acts 20:7-11 Luke gives us a few things the believers in Troas did and did not do on the first day of the week.  Paul spoke to the group, stopped to raise a dead member, then continued to speak.  During that period of time the disciples “broke bread.”  Since there were “many lights” in the assembly, speculation questions whether the church was observing Jewish rather than Roman time?  Jewish time was from sundown one day to sundown the next.  Roman time was closer to the way we look at the clock.  

Troas is not a congregation like those familiar to us.  Most today pick from Acts 20 what is already being observed.  The rest of verses 7 through 11 are ignored.  The reader will notice from verse 6 that Paul and his group were in the city seven days.  However, they waited until Sunday to meet with the church.  Does that not sound strange since that is not how we practice Christianity? 

1). Troas did not have a mid-week service nor a Sunday morning one. 

2). If they did have those two assemblies, Paul’s group chose not to attend. 

3). Would we allow a preacher to occupy our pulpit if he would not attend the other two assemblies before he got up to speak? 

4). Would Paul and his group not be considered guilty of forsaking those assemblies (Hebrews 10:25)? 

5). If they were not guilty of the sin of forsaking, then would the Troas church not be at fault for having only one meeting each week rather than three as we do?  

6). Would that practice not indicate Troas’ lack of faith?

The third item involves the way communion is served in Corinth.  Since “broke bread” is mentioned and readers usually connect that with communion, why do folks assume a prayer was offered before the serving of the bread or fruit of the vine?  There is nothing wrong with having such prayers, but Matthew (Matthew 26:26-29), Mark (Mark 14:22-25), nor Luke (Luke 22:14-20) mention a statement from Jesus, commanding such.  In fact, when Paul corrected the way, the Corinthians were partaking, he does not command that a prayer must be offered prior to consumption (1 Corinthians 11:20-34).  We assume that a prayer is required.  Does scripture bind that?  May a congregation meet and partake of the Lord’s supper without singing, giving, or preaching and still receive God’s blessings?  If one pointed to Acts 20:7-12 would that not be a “pattern” they could use to authorize their actions?  What if a congregation today wanted to meet only on the first day of the week and the beginning of that assembly would be prior to midnight and dismissal would take place before daybreak?  Would they be criticized because they did not meet Sunday morning nor Wednesday night as most believers do?  Would a congregation be chastised if they followed the Jewish way of determining time?

As one reads Acts 20:7-12 what are some of the other differences between that congregation and those which exist today?  If worship is dismissed by a prayer or song, was worship dismissed before Paul went downstairs to raise Eutychus from the dead?  Since Luke does not mention that dismissal, did they have prayer or a song to re-engage in worship when returning to the third floor?  Luke does not mention a dismissal of worship nor one to readmit it.  What if today shock paddles were used to restore life, would that still be equal to what Paul and the church did?  Would that action be accepted as “worship” or denied?  Would that denial not put us in a contradictory position with the Troas church? When inspiration does not give us all of the details, we often assume something is true.  Assumptions are related to “guessing.”  Neither one can be bound as God’s word.  Traditions are built upon the foundation of assumptions.  How much of what you and I believe is found in that category?  You may even find some of that in this article!  (1 Corinthians 3:10).