A Sunday Reflection on the Rioting.

As a Christian-raised child who attended Sunday Mass for years I’ve remembered just enough about the Bible to be dangerous, and fairly sure Saint Peter won’t call my name.

So, after learning about the rioting, violence, destruction, and death in numerous cities these last 12 days, sparked by the unfortunate death of Minneapolis MN black man George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer – and, it being Sunday – I recalled this lesson from the Bible which may be ironically appropriate.

First, some background: During Apostle Paul’s second missionary journey (described in Acts 17:2-9) he, along with his disciples Silas and Timothy visited the Jewish synagogue in Thessaloníki, Greece on three consecutive Sabbaths.

At (probably) their last meeting with the Thessalonians they gave these words:

2 Thessalonians 3:1-15 – King James Version

“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stabilize you, and keep you from evil. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that you both do and will do the things which we command you. 5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walk disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 7 For yourselves know how you ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nothing; but wrought with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: 9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us.

10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 13 But you, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”

And, in an unfortunate and perhaps ironic twist, also described in Acts 17:2-9, after Saint Paul finished, some of the Jews in the audience organized the “wicked men” in the area, went to the house hosting Paul, Silas, and Timothy, and turned the home owner over to the anti-Christian Romans, causing Paul and his disciples to flee Thessaloníki.

Thanks for Reading!

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