The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
After about a year and a half in Corinth, persecution once more erupted. The Jews provoked dissent. They managed to have Paul brought before the governor. However, their charge was that Paul urged a religious point of view which was illegal in Jewish thought. Gallio, the consul, was not a Jew and had no regard for the dispute. He dismissed the case.
After the dismissal, some people apprehended the leader of the synagogue and had him beaten. Gallio also did not care about this case.
There have been times in history when, in the name of Jesus, people have gone on a rampage. Some have tried to force conversion. Others have engaged in warfare which may or may not have been biblically defensible. We do, however, need to recognize that people of different religious persuasions have a much more significant history of this sort of activity. It is almost always the Christians who have been oppressed or persecuted, not the other way around.
It is terrible that Gallio didn’t care about the situations. Then again, do we really expect him to love and serve his neighbor? That’s a value promoted by Christians. Why would we expect it of him? Yet, the Christian community, empowered by the Holy Spirit, can work for peace and reconciliation. It takes courage, yes, especially when we have been on the receiving end of so much of the hostility throughout history. But the difficulty doesn’t mean it isn’t right. Let’s give it a try.
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