To Jerusalem for Pumpkinfest
In Acts 20:16, Paul stops in Miletus and sends for the elders of the church in Ephesus to join him there. His desire is to get back to Jerusalem in time for Pumpkinfest. Ok, so maybe it was Pentecost not Pumpkinfest that he wanted to get back to Jerusalem for.
Why did he want to get back for Pentecost? We know that Paul has already stated that as Christians we are no longer under the old Jewish laws. And yes, Pentecost could have been a day of celebration for the Christians there marking the time God’s Spirit descended on the Apostles It’s when they began preaching about Jesus and the Kingdom grew by three thousand. That would be a great thing to celebrate, but no I don’t see it that way. There was another reason Paul didn’t go into Ephesus to visit the congregation he had a special relationship with in order to be there on that particular day.
As already stated, Pentecost was a Jewish holiday. It was one of three annual festivals where Jews from all regions would make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Acts 2:5 tells us there were “God fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.” Paul’s desire wasn’t to be there to celebrate an old festival or even remember a new one, but to do what he always did; reach as many people in as many ways as he could. He tells us this in one of his letters to those in Corinth when he tells them that whatever he does it is to expand the kingdom (1Corinthians 9:24-27). It was a Jewish holiday, a Christian time to celebrate, but to Paul it was an opportunity.
We like Paul, need to make the most of the opportunities around us just as he tells those in Colosse (Colossians 4:5). This weekend is one of those opportunities with the Pumpkinfest taking over the downtown area of South Lyon. Why not use Pumpkinfest as an opportunity to invite someone to service? See if they would want to come to services and then head over to Pumpkinfest afterwards. You could even offer to treat them to lunch from one of the five food vender trucks that will be there. It could be an opportunity.
Maybe not the opportunity that works for you? No problem. We have other opportunities to invite people out. We just had the Back to School Sunday. We put the sermon topics in the bulletin, have short series, maybe one of those will spark a thought and you could invite someone. On a less spiritual level, but still something to invite a friend to is the upcoming Escape Room. And for the guys we are looking at a time to have a Friguy Friday. Yeah, it is about deep fried foods, but more importantly it is about guys hanging out together. There are opportunities from a wide variety of areas to invite others out.
Maybe none of these are what you are looking for. Then come up with a suggestion and let’s see if we can make it happen. We need to be wise, shrewd as Jesus tells us. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light (Luke 16:8). Let’s be wise, let’s be smart, let’s even be shrewd because it isn’t about a festival. It’s not even about a special day. It is about eternal life and God’s desire for everyone to be there. (John 3:16)
Using what’s around me,