September 6, 2009

Reflections on the Apostle Paul

Barbara Crafton, Episcopal priest, includes the following thoughts on the Apostle Paul on her blog, The Geranium Farm:

He used to travel the world -- no easy task in his day -- converting people to Christianity. This he did by talking to them in groups, mostly, starting from the beliefs he knew they already held and endeavoring to show them that Christ was the fulfillment of all of them. Then he would leave, and write letters back to them -- those letters now stand as the oldest books of the New Testament.

The letters were mostly a combination of scolding or encouragement, depending on which was needed, and fundraising. Almost all of them contain appeals for money for the widows and orphans in Jerusalem -- he had agreed to make these appeals wherever he went, in exchange for the blessing of the leaders back in Jerusalem on his work with the Gentiles, and he kept his promise. I'm not sure he ever raised much money, but he always asked.