Riot at the Temple, Francesco Grandi Acts 21:27 – 32
When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, shouting, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place.” (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.)
Paul and James in Jerusalem, Cesare Dias Acts 21:17 – 26
Acts 21:17 – 26
When Paul arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly. The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. Continue reading
Existentialism has codified for us that anxiety about personal flaws and inadequacy is a 20th century realization. Prior centuries deluded themselves with romanticism, class systems, and theological dogma. Tragic or Comic theatrical structures dominated the stage from the Greeks though the Victorians. Theatre of the Absurd came into consciousness during the years of genocide and holocaust. We are no longer fated by our tragic flaw, nor destined to match with our lover. Dark humor, suffering, and death await us all. Life is a Seinfeld sit-com in which nothing really happens and we laugh at our own cruelty toward others. Most productions of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, which I have seen, have held it in the realm of a Victorian era romanticism about twins being reunited and lovers matched. The Blackfriar Theatre’s current production presents a darker, and more substantial characterization, of What You Will. For the existentialist, the challenge is how to find meaning in our anxieties and inadequacies. Continue reading
Prophacy of Agabus, Roberto Bompiani Acts 21:7 – 14
Acts 21:7 – 14
We continued our voyage from Tyre and landed at Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for a day. Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy.
After we had been there a number of days, a prophet name Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind their owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles’ “.
When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”
A couple of years ago, when certain factions within the Republican Party filibustered a spending bill, thereby shutting down the federal government for some days, I cringed when I heard the tone of President Obama’s reprimand of their action in Congress. Though I agreed with what he was trying to convey, his tone reminded me of a middle-school civics teacher scolding his class for throwing spit-balls during a guest lecture on the balance of power in the Constitution. (Actually, my middle-school civic’s teacher had deadly aim with a caulk-dust filled eraser when students mis-behaved, carried on side-conversations, or fell asleep. Though his technique would be disciplined these days, he needed to demonstrate this skill only once each year to keep attention of his students). Following this presidential election cycle, the whole lot of candidates, pundits, and media feel too much like middle-school for me…. not a time that I enjoyed, nor wish to revisit. Time to crash this party. Continue reading
Time for the annual Fog in August prediction for Winter 2016-17. Last year’s Fog in August did not turn out to be accurate, due to lots of ice storms, but only one major snow storm (though about 3 feet in a day). However, the Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack admitted that their forecast was only 55% accurate for the year. Anyone have a coin to toss?
In August 2016, in the valley which we drive through on the way to work, or look over on our days at home, we noted 6 mornings with light fog, 4 with moderate fog, and 4 with heavy fog. The current edition of the almanack calls for 8 snow events and 4 Nor’easters. Of course, some of those snow events are listed as “north” or “south”. As we are in the middle of their Mid-Atlantic region, we might miss the snow to get ice (yuck), rain, or just wind. That might give us the 8 storms that the fog has predicted.
Our wood is stacked. I’ve checked the generator and chain saws. We bought a new set of chains for the truck, and replaced the tires on the Subaru. Time to start cleaning up the garden before Winter arrives.
Paul Leaves for Miletus (Jerusalem), by Marcello Sozzi Acts 20: 13 – 16, 22 – 24, 36 – 38
Acts 20:13 – 24
We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. The next day we sailed from there and arrived off Chios. The day after that we crossed over Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus. Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible by the day of Pentecost. Continue reading