Sometimes, I think it's all too easy to become discouraged at the state of our world.
- school "resource officers" (that generally means cops on site to deal with threats from inside and outside) in the city of Akron, will now be equipped with "Narcan" to deal with potentially fatal overdoses from heroin, fentanyl, etc. In schools! Not "just" the high schools either, the middle schools as well.
- but then, I recall that several years ago, our daughter was teaching English in another state. HALF the girls in her 10th grade English class were pregnant! And, no, this was not the "inner city", with all the racialist imaginings.
- I have recently seen photos of "drag queens" in full regalia, reading to little kids in a public library in, I believe, Boston, as part of the city-wide celebration of "Gay Pride Week" (or month). Part of efforts by, among other things, holdovers from Obama's bunch in the (unconstitutional to exist, by the way) federal department of education (and inoctrination). And anyone who thinks and says that this may not be a good thing, is shouted down, sometimes with threats, credible ones, of death and serious physical harm, by those who claim to be speaking on behalf of "tolerance" and "inclusiveness". At least as how they define these terms, which generally mean "agree loudly with us OR ELSE!". And, again, some of those making those threats are associated with certain church-type organizations.
- I see reports of congregations within the Presbyterian Church - USA to claim that the Lord and "allah" are one and the same, and to PRAY TO ALLAH! In church!! See here, for example. And there are other examples, and they're not limited to the Presbyterians. Now, I am quite openly NOT a big fan of John Calvin and calvinism (small -g) in general. I do strongly suspect that he'd be mortified at this. But Luther, who I am also not a huge fan of for numerous reasons, would probably be mortified at what is being done in the various shades of the Lutheran / reformed denominations. As well as others.
And it can happen again. I fear that it will
I've already lived a good bit longer than I'd ever expected. Anything that happens to me now is the Lord's will, may He be honored. But part of our responsibility in this life is to do our utmost to leave things better than we found them. I for one have failed in that, and that is a very bitter pill.
The Old Testament reading is Psalms 4, 5, and 6
Our New Testament reading today continues in chapter 16 of the Acts of the Apostles with verses 16-40. This, as was the case yesterday, is taking place in an area of Macedonia then called Philippi. That town now longer exists, though it was once a significant place, dating back to the time that the kingdom and empire of Macedonia stretched over a wide area and at one time challenged the power of Rome. Indeed, it is thought the empire of Macedon, in wars with Rome, led to the fall of the Roman Republic which led then to the Roman Empire, a much different structure. There is, now, a small village near that ruins. It is in Greece, not Turkey (although in an oft-disputed and oft-conquered region) and is transliterated into our alphabet as Filippoi. The site on a map is here.
FAR from Jerusalem, FAR from Israel, FAR from the centers of Jewish culture and tradition. But, even here, there were Jews and there had been assemblies of them. But, since Rome had conquered that part of the world (and much else besides), they'd brought their own cultures and religions and traditions, which were superimposed on the Greek / Maceonian ones. Quite a mix! And then came Paul with the Gospel, and teachings that upset the whole arrangements, including the mercantile ones. After all, it was "good business" to go along with the arrangement. So they were beaten and thrown into prison, and it had to look pretty bad. Until the Lord intervened in a miraculous way, and thus there were conversions that wouldn't have happened any other way.
I always wondered, "what happened next"? Remember that there was no missionary society, no denominational support groups, no printed Bibles for everyone. "Just" the Spirit. And that was enough.