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Posts Tagged ‘Mel Brooks’

Verses 25-26: “He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.”

It never fails: I’ve heard people complain when their favorite sports teams, pro or college, raise ticket prices. Seems like some prices never go back down, but always go up! Fans get enraged, film themselves burning the jersey of their team, or appear on news segments up in arms about it. However, this doesn’t seem to bother the sports teams…they make their money anyway! Many times I’ve heard that the only way to get their attention is to “hit them in the pocketbook” and refuse to buy tickets. When such organized efforts rarely happen, the owners of these teams finally sit up and take notice.

Paul, with his preaching and spreading of the Gospel in Ephesus and elsewhere, had attracted a new opposition. A man named Demetrius, a silversmith by trade, had organized a group of his fellow craftsmen together. Why? Because thanks to the spread of Christianity, the pagan worship of Diana, who had temples in Ephesus, was threatened. No temples, no silver worship articles that were made by…guess who? Yep, the local craftsmen. They were being “hit in the pocketbook”.

A quote by Mel Brooks from Blazing Saddles sums it up pretty well (and I’m referring to the edited version of the movie via ClearPlay! http://www.clearplay.org ) When he, as the bumbling Gov. William J. LePetomane, heard the request by the citizens of Rock Ridge demanding a new sheriff to combat the violence thrust upon their town, the governor declares to his cabinet members, “Gentlemen, we got to protect our phoney-baloney jobs! We gotta do something!” (paraphrased). That’s the bottom line of what Demetrius was talking about: ignoring the pagan worship, they were worried that their income was going to be severely impacted!

So what happened next? That’s a continuation…for another day!

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Verse 2: “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;”

As they lift the large, heavy coffin from the freshly dug grave, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced FRONCK-in-steen) comments disgustedly to his assistant Igor (pronounced EYE-gore), “What a filthy job”. “Could be worse.” Igor replies cheerfully. “How?” retorts Dr. Frankenstein. “Could be raining.” Igor says, at which point, a torrential downpour starts, heralded by lightning and thunder. Dr. Frankenstein just slowly looks at Igor with that “you-just-had-to-say-it” look, as Igor just smiles weakly.

I thought of this scene from Mel Brooks’ movie, Young Frankenstein. Some people always look on the bright side of things, no matter how grim their current circumstances. Some people always praise God in addition to their requests; this is in stark reality to many Christians who open their prayers with requests and hopefully even remember to thank God for His many blessings.

Paul urges the Colossians in this closing chapter to continue earnestly praying but also with thanksgiving. Hard to do, especially when times are rough? Sure it can be…but here’s an example to think about: I just found out after being out of town for the weekend that our church’s pastor of near 17 years is leaving us. He is following God’s call to another church in South Carolina; part of the decision that was a factor was also that he is moving closer to aging family members. Now while our congregation will be crying tears of sadness on that last Sunday he’ll be with us (I’ll probably be leading the crying procession :-)), I know he is being faithful to God’s will in this…he wouldn’t leave otherwise unless God was leading him. So, I am thankful to God for all he had given us through the blessing of our pastor, just as I’m thankful that God is taking him into the next season of his life…and taking our church into its next season. Times and people may change…but God doesn’t. And…I’m thankful to him for that, too!

Something to think about.

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