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May 3, 2020 – The Fourth Sunday of Easter – A Contrary Message

Acts 17:1-9 – Founding church at Thessalonica
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 – Paul’s message of thanks to the church at Thessalonica.

Acts contains the story of the founding of a church. This is the founding of the church as Thessalonica, one of the churches that letters go to in the New Testament. The Way is new here. This will be the first church here. This is a big thing.
They go and proclaim Jesus in the temple, and this arguing (NRSV) offends or aggravated the Jews. Like us, they get heated when someone says that we are worshiping wrong. This argument also convicts and
converts several Jews, devout Greeks, and prominent women. Again, not surprising, some are converted, and some are offended. That sounds like us.
And then a mob is formed. They go to Jason’s house and pull him out in the street, and they drag Jason and company to the city authorities. The accusation should sound familiar, they are turning the world upside down, and that they are asserting another king, a king named Jesus. We hear this today as well, that (some) Christians are turning the world upside down, and asserting that the one whose law is law is Christ, not nation. We hear the accusation that (some) Christians are turning the world upside down, and making things not as they should be. The message of Christ is contrary to the message of the world, and troubling to those who would get through life the way it is now. Which set of laws are we buying in to? Who is our king, Caesar, or Christ?