Acts 8:3 And Saul just went wild, devastating the church, entering house after house after house, dragging men and women off to jail. (The Message Bible)
On this holiday when we remember the freedoms we have, it is appropriate to note that not everyone has enjoyed such freedoms. How do we deal with those with whom we disagree, maybe disagree passionately? Regularly throughout history, physical force was employed to silence or eliminate opposition. Saul, who will later be renamed Paul, was part of this plan to crush the early church. God will have other plans for him, but here he represents the propensity for violence we possess as humans. Violence erupts in our world and even our county, making headlines, fodder for elections, and fear. The track record of the world indicates the unlikelihood of this ever being completely eliminated apart from a decisive, catastrophic intervention from God. That is, of course, what the Bible promises as the destination of history. In the meantime, those of us who enjoy freedom can give thanks and pray for those who aren’t enjoying those freedoms.