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.”
Acts 20:13-16 describes part of Paul’s journey from Macedonia to Jerusalem. We find again that Paul and Luke are in different groups at times. Paul’s desire was to walk a portion of the journey and then rejoin some of his companions, who were taking a boat. We shoud avoid picturing a tremendous ship such as we might see today. This is much more likely to be something we would think of as a fishing boat, with a few crew members. We see that the boat puts in to shore in a number of places. Most sailing in that time period was done using line of sight navigation. The sailors would generally stay in view of a shoreline so as to avoid becoming disoriented. They also tended to sail during the daytime, but not at night.
Paul is hurrying. He wants to be in Jerusalem by Pentecost if possible. Not only was this a traditional Jewish feast (firstfruits), but it also had a strong significance to Christians, as the anniversary of the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In Paul’s hurry, he bypasses Ephesus. However, he does know many people there. He had spent a good deal of time and effort in the city. The Ephesians are not forgotten. We’ll see in the upcoming passage how Paul still manages to invest in Ephesus on his way past.
As usual, we see in the Scripture that the early Christians bring Jesus with them wherever they go. There is a special bond among them, even when they are from various different places and backgrounds. The assembly of Christ’s redeemed people shows care and concern for one another, something we strive to do to this day.
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