Is It Biblical to Fall Asleep in Church?

Eutychus Falls from a Window5

Eutychus Falls from a Window3

Here’s a couple of images in homage to Eutychus, the patron saint of anyone who has ever fallen asleep in church. Luke tells it like this:

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 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. (Acts 20:7-12)

I just love the sly humour that went into this account. Luke writes how Paul “kept on talking till midnight”, kept talking “on and on” and then, even after this comic-tragic incident, kept talking on and on again till dawn! Paul wasn’t to quick on the uptake was he? And it wasn’t as if he was the ancient world’s most riviting speaker either, as he acknowledges in his second letter to the Corinthians. And you think your pastor drones on! No wonder they were “greatly comforted” to get Eutychus (and themselves) finally home 🙂

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