Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The compelling story of Telemachus in light of today’s chaos

In this particular post, I clearly identify my theological stance as Christian. If this offends you, I am sorry. In times of chaos, we all embrace that which makes sense to us. My faith makes sense to me and is my strength at this time. Also, this post may come across as political. It is not meant to be. It is a clarion call to peace. Peace transcends politics. I am sure each of us holds an opinion about what is happening in our country right now. The core of the problem is spiritual. Please indulge me as I share a story I hope you will find enlightening. In today's America we need not one but many persons like the character in this true story. May God raise up a corps of Telemachus'. It is said that in the year 402 AD, the young monk felt called to leave the monastery and head out into the pagan world to not only learn what the world had to offer, but to spread the message of Christ to all who would listen. One day in prayer, Telemachus felt called by God to leave immediately and head to Rome. If monastery’s were the hub of a local community’s society, Rome was considered the hub of the world. This was the center of society during this time. Not sure what he would find, or why God had called him on his mission he headed from the monastery and began his trek. Upon arriving in Rome, he was immediately caught up in the crowd. The crowd was immense and excited. Soon Telemachus found himself giddy with the contagious excitement of those around him. He wasn’t sure where he was headed but he knew whatever it was, it had to be great, and there was no way he was going to miss out on it. Within a few moments he found himself deep in the seating area of the Roman Coliseum. Asking those around him, he learned that the Romans had just defeated the Goths, and the emperor had commanded a circus to be held for the celebrating crowd. As he took his seat, he couldn’t have missed the emperor sitting in his seat of honor. He most certainly would not have missed the arrival of the gladiators into the coliseum. As the gladiators lined up below the emperors seat, together they stood and yelled out: “We, who are about to die, salute you”. It was the traditional greeting of the gladiators to their emperors, and in that instant he knew exactly what he had stumbled upon. The Bishops and leaders of the church had spoken out about the gladiator games in Rome, yet most believed it legend. In that moment, Telemachus realized it all was true. Soon the gladiators pulled their weapons and the bloody brawl began just a few hundred yards away from him. The grotesque nature of the sport appalled him. Worse yet, was the reactions of those around him. The spectators where in a blood thirsty ecstasy over what they were seeing. Telemachus was sickened and shocked. In that instant he realized that it must stop. From his seat, he yelled out to the warriors: In the Name of Jesus Stop… But no one heard. Without thinking he jumped over the wall and into the battle arena of the fighters. The gladiators surprised by the unexpected guests momentarily stopped their fights and stared at the monk. “IN THE NAME OF JESUS STOP!” he yelled over and over again. After a few moments, the silence turned to chuckles and outright laughter. One of the gladiators, with a sick enjoyment, took a swing at Telemachus with his sword, just barely missing him. With that the others began to draw their swords. Soon they were chasing this man, across the field of battle to the laughter of the crowd. Most who witnessed the spectacle thought he was a clown or there for comic relief. That was until they heard what he was yelling; For the love of Christ, Stop!… He ran, jumped, dodged and ducked, and with each passing moment his words grew clearer and louder; In the name of Jesus, Stop. In the name of Jesus Stop. IN THE NAME OF JESUS STOP! Eventually the gladiators surged and when the dust cleared, there laid Telemachus on the ground with a sword in the center of his chest. There was silence in the crowd. It was said in that moment, that his words still echoed in the coliseum; In the name of Christ Stop. After what seemed like an eternity, one man got up from his seat, and left in silence. Then another… Then another… Until everyone got up from their seat and left in silence and disbelief. I shout to the community destroyers, "In the name of Jesus STOP!" Will you join me?

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