‘Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. (Acts 19: 18 – 20)
We are, it seems, now in a “post-truth” culture. In the story of our text the Spirit of Truth moved certain people, who had dabbled in dark secrets and had been involved
in evil doings, to move into the light of truth: these people openly confessed what
they had done.
A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When God powerfully touches us we are compelled to confess our sins and begin to live in the light of God’s truth.
And we know that the truth is the truth because the Holy Spirit illuminates our minds.
Sadly, there have been times in our past history when truth has been publicly burned because people in authority did not want to hear the invincible truth of God’s word.
For example, in the time of the Covenanters, Samuel Rutherford’s book about the limitations of the power of the state (Lex Rex) was ordered to be burned by King
Charles II. Yet that book was influential in inspiring the Constitution of the U S A at a later period. The truth could not be suppressed for ever.
I am suggesting to the folk in my church that we make 2017 a Year of Truth.
I hope that we will seek the truth and live the truth and speak the truth with an open-ness and courage greater than ever before. We all need truth, however painful it may be to embrace truth. (Maybe there is “media” in our homes, or in our minds, that needs to be “burned” because it is hindering our reception of God’s liberating truth?)
We all need to confess our need of Jesus Christ who is truth personified. May it be so.