April 18, 2020
This morning I read the account in 1 Chronicles 11 of three of David’s mighty men who risked their lives in order to break out of their lockdown and get David some water from the well in Bethlehem. (No, I am not comparing our governor to the
Philistines.) I read this just before I sat down to eat a bowl of Providential Icons (popularly known as Lucky Charms) that someone had kindly dropped off at my door. I thought that if I was as spiritual as David, I would pour them out on the
ground. Since I am not, I just ate them. I’ve never doubted David’s sincerity, but I have always wondered how those three guys felt about it. If you are wondering what deep theological insight I am about to pull from this, well, I’m wondering too.
Cathi and I do not watch much TV, except for the Tigers and college football. So without either, and with the lockdown now entering its 16th year, I thought that perhaps we ought to try to find a show that we could watch together. Her idea of a show is some British baking program where contestants compete for some prize that I could not care less about and my idea of a TV program is a British car show where 3 guys find old campers and see how spectacularly they can destroy them. I find it hilarious but her enthusiasm for my show is perhaps even less than my enthusiasm for hers, if that were possible. So, rather than listen to one another complain, we’re back to reading books at night when we finally sit down after attempts at organizing papers and tools. And this paragraph is actually leading me to say something.
Our attention to and study of the book of Acts and even our text from 1 Peter last week has made us very familiar with regions called Lycia, Bithynia, Galatia, Cappadocia, Cilicia and Asia along with cities like Derbe, Iconium, Lystra, Ephesus and now Miletus. These are regions and places in modern day Turkey. And naturally we wonder, whatever happened to these churches and what happened to Christianity? My knowledge of the history of that region is spotty at best, so toward the end of last year I purchased a book that chronicles Turkey’s genocide of its Christian population (1894-1924). These chronicles are a very hard read. Unlike Hitler’s holocaust and Stalin’s forced starvation of Ukraine, the mass deportation, murder, pillaging and raping of tens of thousands of Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks has stayed out of the focus of
much of the world’s consciousness. I am almost done with the book, but it has only reinforced the sad history of our world that is marked by people of every tribe, language and nation hell- bent it seems on hating and destroying one another.
This fresh reminder of our sinful world gave me fresh eyes to see and rejoice in the stunning scene on the beach of Miletus, (end of Acts 20) where Paul and the Jews and the Gentile elders from the church at Ephesus, prayed together, embraced together and wept together. They had a bond forged in the gospel that promises and points to a reunion of all reunions around the throne when every tribe, language and nation will not claim that they were there first, but will all be equally amazed at the grace that brought any of them and all of them there.
As you may guess, that’s our text for tomorrow. “See you” then.