Many times, before I read the scripture that provides the focus for my sermon,
I try to provide its context —
what has happened or what is being addressed
just before the verses that I’m about to read.
Today, though, I’m going to do the opposite.
I’m going to work backwards.
I will still read Acts 19:1-7,
but, given the violent uprising at the Capitol this past week,
I’m going to start with what happened after the story that is told in those verses.
The apostle Paul had spent several months in Ephesus.
Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia Minor, located in modern-day Turkey.
At that time, it was the most important trading center in Mediterranean region,
a cosmopolitan center of commerce and culture.
It had an enormous amphitheater, the third-largest library in the Roman Empire,
and a large public plaza surrounded by colonnades —
that is where matters of government and trade were argued, negotiated and settled.
- Acts 19:1 - 7