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.”
There’s something intriguing about taking on a new position of authority. There is almost always someone who will make a request that doesn’t seem completely genuine. In Acts 25:1-5, Festus, the new kid on the block, has taken up his office in Jerusalem. Some Jewish leaders asked him to summon Paul to Jerusalem form Caesarea so as to have a trial. Why would they want to do this? Luke comments that their plan was to ambush and kill Paul.
Festus would have had no way of knowing the plan of the Jewish leaders. However, when a prisoner has been kept in Caesarea for a couple of years it might just be a good idea to leave him there until you can have the trial. Festus requires the Jewish leaders to appear in Ceaesarea for a trial. He keeps the prisoner secure. He prevents change that he doesn’t fully understand
By doing this, Festus makes certain he will be able to hear the actual charges. This is good and wise. Wise leaders in any organization will be slightly resistent to change. When they hear an idea they will be ready to put it into operation, but only if it is actually a good idea. Otherwise it is very easy to fall into change simply for the sake of change. It allows leaders, followers, and a whole organization to be driven around by the whim of anybody who wishes to speak out. That’s almost always going to have a negative outcome.
Paul’s fine. He’s in prison, which isn’t optimal. But he’s fine. We’ll leave him there for a bit.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.