Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Vote/Voted off the Island (05/29/14)
- TITLE: Light in the Darkness
By Lois Farrow
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Sensual orgies and temple prostitution were rife. Night after night parties raged. The relentless pursuit of fertility coupled with frequent risqué festivals drew in the crowds, both locals and passing travellers. Corruption pervaded all of Ephesus.
The pursuit of happiness and the need to find answers meant occult practices were everywhere, particularly on the island of Chios which parted the river. Barges ferried the eager crowds out to the island to have their fortunes told and to commune with the spirits. They found only misery. It was as if God had been voted off the island and out of the city.
The strange thing was the interest in the occult and the spirit world by the very people who decided that the Great Spirit who made it all wasn’t for real.
But God in his mercy had a plan. The radical movement started slowly, and at the right time God’s servant Paul came and boldly proclaimed the word of the Lord.
Paul preached in the synagogues and while some threw him out, others believed. Paul had discussions in a public hall, a very popular venue which attracted travellers, so many who were passing through heard life-giving words.
As the movement grew riots and protests filled the town square as the silversmiths shouted against potential loss of income as worship of Diana was threatened. They wanted nothing to do with any such person who might interfere with their pleasures and selfish lifestyle. They turned their backs.
Then something happened which the leaders of the city could not ignore. Many of the ordinary people believed! How preposterous! And what was worse, the new believers wanted everyone else to believe the way they did. Their lives were changed and the city was turned upside down.
Miracles occurred which gave the new believers boldness to proclaim their faith, even in such a hostile environment. They brought their divination books and scrolls into the public square and lit fires so they could be burned.
The city was in confusion. As businessmen tried to protect their businesses, and priests protested loss of worship of Diana, the town clerk had to calm the people and disperse the crowd.
The believers breathed a sigh of relief as they watched the last of their books burn. Light had come into the darkness. They would continue preaching the good news and let God deal with the consequences.
(A fictional take on a true story)
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