Day 6 of our Holy Land Pilgrimage started with a light rain interrupting Morning Prayer at the Sea of Galilee. As we scampered back to our hotel, Rev. Marcia King finished her homily, walking and talking with us just as Jesus as teacher did with his disciples. We had a full day as we took in Mount Carmel, Muhraka, where Elijah showed us the constant struggle between faith and false idols, and Caesarea Maritima where Paul was imprisoned. Today's picture shows the "place of hearing" where Paul would have appeared before the Governor to plead his case to be released from prison. After lunch rain greeted us as we trekked up Mount Tabor to see the Church of the Transfiguration.
One experience today spoke clearly of our relationship with both God and with others. In Acts 23:12, we learn of a plot to kill Paul. Paul’s nephew hears of the plot and reported it to the tribune. Soldiers were dispatched to move Paul to Caesarea Maritima so that he could be tried as a Roman citizen by Governor Felix. Paul was accused of stirring up riots among the Jews and profaning the temple.
When he arrived in Caesarea Maritima, Governor Felix put off condemning Paul as Felix had an accurate knowledge of Christ’s message. Instead, Felix left Paul under house arrest and allowed his friends to attend to his needs. After awhile, Felix and his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. (Acts 24:24). Felix was alarmed when he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment and sent him back to house arrest, promising to summon him when an opportunity arose. Over the next two years, Felix sent for him often and conversed with him about faith. Paul visited with his Christian friends and wrote inspiring letters such as Romans during those two years. As a favor to the Jews, Felix left Paul in prison for two years, but did not have him executed. Felix was then succeeded by a new Governor, Festus.
Rev. Leigh Spruill challenged us that even worse than anger, indifference is destructive in relationships. Felix heard the Word, but did nothing for two years, leaving Paul in prison, just continuing to talk with him. Just as with Felix, God invites us to decide in faith if we will allow God to shape us, or if we will remain indifferent to Him. Felix was intrigued by Paul and his message for 2 years, but failed to act.
What will you do with the next two years? Will you be like Paul inspiring others to follow Christ or will you be like Felix and do nothing?
Are you indifferent in your relationship to God? Are you indifferent in your relationship with others?
There is nothing worse in a relationship than indifference.
Blessings, my friend,
FOR MORE STORIES FROM THIS HOLY LAND TRIP SEE: St. George's HOLY LAND Trip 2011