Friday, May 15, 2015

Paint Party Friday: Counterbalancing Evil!

My friend asked me to make a design
for stationery to be used as an invitation
to a Filipiniana affair.
Here it is! I kind of like it! 

 "The mob grabbed Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and had beaten him right there in the courtroom." Acts 18:17
This is one of those little mysteries in the Bible. Why is Sosthenes, the leading man of the synagogue, beaten up after Proconsul Gallio refused to judge Paul. The Jews were accusing Paul of "persuading people to worship God in ways that were contrary to law." The name Sosthenes appears again 1 Corinthians 1:1, when Paul mentions him as his fellow traveler and believer in his letter to the church of Corinth. Is he one and the same? Some say yes and some say no. Some propose Sosthenes is one and the same fellow as Crispus mentioned in Acts 18:8, "Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and all his household believed in the Lord." Now the reason Sosthenes was attacked is a little clearer. There couldn't be two leading men of the synagogue, could there?
Whatever the real story, persecution of Christians was rampant in Paul's day. And it continues today. Persecution is severe in North Korea, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Nigeria, and many more countries. Christian churches are being burned to the ground, homes destroyed, people beheaded for their beliefs. I read a lot of blogs. Sometimes blogs are taken down because people attack the blogger for what they believe in. One lady just said that she wanted to dress modestly because she wanted to follow what it says in the Bible. She got so many acidic comments! I've also seen horrible insults under YOUtube videos of pastors preaching the word of God. So much hatred! But that is so trivial compared to organizations dedicated to eradicating Christianity that they are willing to kill young children or train them to kill. 80 % of religious intolerance in the world is directed against Christians according to the study conducted by the Intl. Society for Human Rights.

 These are my brothers and sisters. Am I doing anything to prevent this? Am I praying? Am I fasting? Am I encouraging those who are are able to engage in the fight? Am I loving my neighbor and not condemning him? Am I kind to my helper Lucy, to my employees, to the nameless people I encounter every day? Any little hate or condemnation or righteousness feeds the fire of persecution and injustice. Let us put it out in our hearts!
 “Then they drew lots between the two men. The choice fell to Matthias, who was added to the twelve apostles.” Acts 1:26
Jesus chose twelve apostles perhaps because there were 12 tribes of Israel, and the patriarch Joseph had 12 sons. There is a lot of number twelves in the Bible, because 12 signifies the perfection of government and maturity. After Jesus left them, Peter stood up before 120 of Jesus' followers and proposed they choose one from among them to take the place vacated by Judas when he betrayed Jesus. The way they chose Matthias, is that after nominating two of them, Joseph and Matthias, they drew lots between the two men.
Pope Benedict said that the betrayer and his replacement teach us many life lessons, including to make sure that our own witness as followers of Jesus is clear and spotless.

 "Precisely the latter was chosen, hence, "he was enrolled with the eleven apostles" (Acts 1:26). We know nothing else about him, if not that he had been a witness to all Jesus' earthly events (cf. Acts 1:26), remaining faithful to him to the end. To the greatness of his fidelity was later added the divine call to take the place of Judas, almost compensating for his betrayal.
"We draw from this a final lesson: while there is no lack of unworthy and traitorous Christians in the Church, it is up to each of us to counterbalance the evil done by them with our clear witness to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior." (Pope Benedict, Oct. 2006)


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  1. Wow. Your painting is stunning. Your friend must be thrilled. Great bible art too.

  2. Every time I stop here I am blessed by both your words & the beauty of your artwork. Thank you for always sharing both. Blessings!

  3. Beautiful Blog and illustrations. Blessings, Janet PPF


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