Jokes take something that’s familiar and changes it. It breaks patterns. There is no area that’s not affected when the gospel is proclaimed. It changes everything. Here we see the planting of the Philippian church. What makes them distinct?
This becomes the first church in Europe. Whenever Paul and his team go to a city they preach the gospel in a synagogue. Here they find a group of women. Purple was a colour of royalty, extravagance. Lydia was a worshipper or God. She’s a successful business person but she can’t save herself. The Spirit opens her heart. She’s the first European Christian that we know of. She goes from praying on the outskirts of town to offering hospitality. When the gospel is proclaimed it breaks up all of our religious pretence so that it can take root.
The demon in the slave girl was trying to hinder Paul’s mission. The gospel means how you make money matters. It has cultural consequences. It can mean upsetting unjust systems. Do we act ethically? Paul and Silas could’ve escaped prison after the earthquake but they didn’t. The jailer asks what everyone wanted to know. What must you do to be saved? Let go of everything and believe in Jesus. The gospel affects both the body and the soul.
Paul knew that the magistrates had acted illegally. What pattern in your life needs to be upended by the gospel? Let go of your hurt or pride and believe in the one who is raised and has defeated death. The gospel changes everything. It takes root in our hearts and grows into joy.