Sunday, February 21, 2016

Way Back Wednesday

It would be difficult to find a human venture where success or failures of the past are not built upon.  It would be difficult to find a human venture where maths and sciences of the past are not utilized by those in the present.  In short, there is nothing that we do that is truly unique.  Solomon is quoted as saying, "there is nothing new under the sun".  If you can read, someone taught you to read but even earlier, someone put together the letter system whereby you form your words.  We build upon the works of those who have preceded us.

Eusebius is a popular name among Church historians.  While not all of his beliefs would be held up as true, he was so meticulous in his writings at quoting others and referencing their works that many modern scholars use him precisely because of the fact that they can learn what men who preceded Eusebius had taught and believed.

Eusebius had a teacher named Pamphilius.  Pamphilius was also a scholar that studied the writings of earlier Christians and referenced their works.  Pamphilius accurately copied Scripture so that he could give them to men and women, and his students.  He lived the Gospel he taught as well as demonstrating true brotherly love by caring for the slave as his brother.  He taught brotherly love to his students and greatly impacted their lives.

Idolatry was being practiced in Pamphilius' town and one of his students challenged the idol worship of the local governor.  The local governor had the student tortured and killed along with other Christians.  The governor had Pamphilius arrested and when he refused to practice idolatry, he was tortured and thrown into prison.  As dangerous as it was, Eusebius continued to visit his teacher in prison and together they wrote works and studies that Eusebius would continue to build upon.
One year and four months after Pamphilius' arrest, a new governor ascended to the governorship.  He ordered that Pamphilius be killed and 1707 years ago this week, that order was carried out.  Maybe his life was cut short but his work was not because he had invested in and tutored Eusebius.

We can continue the work of Christ by building upon the One Firm Foundation.  In doing so, we are building upon the works of those prior to us.  From another point of view, their work continues through us as we follow what we were taught.  Our boasting of "our accomplishment" without naming all of those from whom we've learned is like a quarterback boasting of his superior skills without mentioning the linemen that protected him and the men that caught his passes.  No man is an island and humility is the antidote for avoiding a fall or destruction.


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