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Chariots of Fire (4 of 18)
Sleeping in Church-Eutychus
Clarence E. Macartney
Sound asleep! Fallen into a deep sleep, and under such
a preacher as Paul!
The passage which records the slumber of this young
man is the most illuminating record in the New
Testament of early Christian worship. From it we learn
that the disciples, even at this early date, had begun
to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus by meeting
together on the first day of the week. At this
service, or assembly, they broke bread together,
celebrated the Communion, and listened to a sermon.
Paul was on his way to Jerusalem, on his return from
his third missionary journey, which had taken him as
far as Greece. He had crossed over from Macedonia to
Troas, and there remained long enough to meet with the
Christian disciples in that city and celebrate the
Communion with them. We can be sure that the presence
of Paul brought out to that evening service everyone
in Troas who was able to be there. Imagination likes
to dwell upon the scene. Since Paul in his last letter
from Rome asked Timothy when he came to stop at Troas
and get the old robe that he had forgotten and left
behind him at the home of Carpus, we can be fairly
certain that it was in this home of Carpus that the
meeting was held. It must have been a house of
considerable dimensions, as it had three stories. We
can see the eager congregation assembled in that large
upper chamber, with a window open toward the moonlit
Aegean. Then there were no grand organs, no altars, no
choirs, no stained glass; just the plain assembly of
the people, and the truth of God. Many of them were,
no doubt, slaves, and all of them probably had toiled
at their daily labor on that Lord's Day.
In the room many lamps, virgins' lamps, are burning,
not only to give light, but to protect the Christians
against the popular slander that they met in the
darkness to celebrate their feasts to the ...
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