I spent a lot of time on this blog discussing coincidences and synchronicity. There is an importance to coincidence for folks who are into arcane dabbling in esoteric kinds of endeavors like witchcraft but that is another story for another time. The old Chicago saying that once is happenstance, twice is coincidence and the third time is enemy action was discussed here on this sport. So follow me on this. I had noticed some interesting coincidences, if there are such things in the book of Acts. One of them is this switch in partnerships from Barnabas and Saul to Paul and Barnabas; Silas and Paul; Paul and Silas. It seems like a small thing but it is a big deal. Add to that the addition to the partnerships of Luke the beloved physician and interesting things are revealed. We will get to that down the line. What is interesting to me is that my curiosity about this partnership change was the beginning of some fascinating events. I was looking for Franzmann’s “The Word of the Lord Grows”, when another book fell off the shelves that I had blogged about years ago. I do not know where the book came from. I wrote the blog on April 14th, 2014. I have started to read it again. It is called “I, Paul” written by Lester Wolfe and published by Concordia Publishing House in 1948. I fell open on a chapter that was the beginning of the Second Missionary Journey and the argument Paul and Barnabas had that brought Silas into the picture in the first place – happenstance.
Not long after this I found some interesting history of the Roman Empire and how Philippi became an imperial city. It was the story of the assassination of Julius Caesar, the issues with Brutus and Mark Antony and Octavius Caesar who would one day write a decree, “that all the world should be taxed”. Philippi would become what I consider the dramatic beginning of the Second Missionary Journey although it really began many months earlier. Coincidence.
A while later I am approached by some folks at Trinity that they want to take a tour in May. They want to take a cruise that will follow the foot steps of Paul and will visit all these places on that journey. Some kind of action.
Finally at the convention this summer I met someone who might be the hardest working man in the Missouri Synod who told me he was finishing up a Bible Study on the Second Missionary Journey that would be published soon. I have no idea what to make out of all of this except that the underlying premise of the Book of Acts is that God is at work giving the parameters, the marching orders, the possibilities and the prohibitions of how His Word will speed on and conguer. In fact the title, “the Acts of the Apostles” is a bit misleading because when all is said and done the men are not important and neither are their “Acts”. What is of primary importance as Paul would witness too and others like Luther would be shaped and molded by, is the one to whom they bore witness and His “Act”. Christ Jesus and Him crucified is at the center of Acts and following close behind is the story of the church that Christ created to be His body and His bride.
So we will be studying the Second Missionary Journey and the amazing stuff that happens. We will talk about the cruise and how you can go if you wish and we will continue our study of mercy.