On his way to Jerusalem Paul stops in Troas. There we find a story in Acts 20 that almost seems out of place. Needing to leave the next day they stay up late into the night breaking bread and listening to Paul preach. A young man named Eutychus made his way to the window and perched on the sill. Being very late he fell asleep and fell three stories to his death. Acts 20:10-12 records what happened next, “Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.”
Luke is giving us a clue of what is to come later in this chapter. Paul is about to bid farewell to the Ephesian elders but like Eutychus it will not be the end of the story. Just like the people of Troas who took Eutychus home and were “greatly comforted” those who will say goodbye to Paul, while saddened, can also receive comfort because it is not the end of the story.
And so it is with us. We have our goodbye’s to say to friends and loved ones. What makes it a little easier is our common faith in Christ and that like Eutychus, death is not the end of the story. I am reminded of the words of Christ to his disciples after he predicted his betrayal and Peter’s denial in John 13. He said that he was going to go to a place where they could not follow him. But Jesus did not leave them with that. Jesus followed that by saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” – John 14:1-
Let these words give us hope and let that hope impact the way we live on a day to day basis. Let us live expectantly and remember that there is no end to this story when we are in Christ.