Turning the World Upside Down
“When the mob could not find Paul and Silas, they dragged some believers before the city authorities, shouting, ‘These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also.'” – Acts 17:6
Paul and Silas got in big trouble in Thessalonica. Paul preached for several days, explaining that Jesus was the messiah and that he had to suffer and die. Many listeners were convinced and followed them.
But there was backlash. Luke writes, “They formed a mob and set the city in an uproar.” They said, “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also.”
They didn’t mean it as a compliment, but “turning the world upside down” is exactly what the Good News about Jesus did that day.
And when I look around at our world today I long for it to be “turned upside down.” I wonder what would it take for us to be accused of “turning the world upside down?”
What if we told of God’s radical reconciling love for the whole world that we know in Jesus? What if we told of Jesus’s concern for the poor, his acceptance of sinners, his embrace of outsiders, and his forgiveness of enemies? What if we told how he said to turn the other cheek and walk the second mile?
What if we told how Jesus told us to choose love, not hate, to choose faith not fear? What would it take?
Your world needs turning upside down, O God, and we can’t do it without you. Give us the courage to cause some uproar on behalf of the world you love.
Richard L. Floyd is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A writer and author, his most recent publications are Romans, Parts 1 and 2 (with Michael S. Bennett), new titles in the “Listen Up!” Bible Study Series. He blogs at richardlfloyd.com.