Acts 26: 24-32
Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.”
When he had said these things, the king stood up, as well as the governor and Bernice and those who sat with them; and when they had gone aside, they talked among themselves, saying, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.”
Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
“I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.”… We believe, with Paul, the prophets and the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. We believe salvation has come to both the Jew and the Gentile. With that belief comes a transformation. Our lives are lived not under a death sentence but under a life sentence, a life that is abundant, not lacking. Our lives are filled with the power of God and we see the will of God done in the lives of others as well as our own. Our lives are spent in communion with God as in the beginning of mankind thanks to the sacrifice of Christ. With this belief we get to become like Paul was, able and willing to share what has been given to us.
While the message was not at that time embraced by Festus or Agrippa, it was clear that though the belief was different, even foolish to them, it did not deserve punishment. Again the hand of God is seen, protecting his own to further the kingdom. Paul is enabled to continue to share the message of Christ to the then known world. Each day begins with a fresh promise of life, life abundant, and life lived in service to the Lord. Each day the ‘words of truth and reason’ are shared and new life is brought to God’s creation.