We read in the Book of Acts how the Apostle Paul, knowing he was leaving Troas the next day, and wanting to teach these new followers all he could before leaving them, preached past midnight. He was teaching in an upper room of a three-story building. As the night wore on in the crowded room, not everyone was paying close attention to his words.
A young man by the name of Eutychus was sitting on a window sill. While Paul was speaking, the young man got very sleepy. Finally, he went to sleep and fell three floors all the way down to the ground. When they picked him up, he was dead.
Even without the distractions of modern technology, this young man’s attention span had been stretched to its limit. He had taken a seat on the the ledge of one of the room’s large, open windows, perhaps only leaning against the sill, at first, but eventually, seeking greater comfort, he sat within the opening. This was a precarious perch at the best of times, and exceedingly dangerous for one as drowsy as Eutychus.
Fortunately for this young man, his lack of attentiveness was not permanently fatal. Paul was on hand to restore him to life and the story has a happy ending.
The story of Eutychus has application to the church today in that many believers are paying little attention to God’s word and His teaching. Our attention span is so short that even in those churches where the Bible is being taught, the people forget it as soon as they leave the sanctuary. Some of us have become bored and are leaning against the edge of the window sill. Others are quite comfortably settled on their precarious perch overlooking the abyss.
The Church is in danger of falling asleep. It is time to stand up, shake off our lethargy, pay attention, and become Christ’s vigorous body as the Gospel admonishes to do.