I have completed the first draft of Keep the Flame, book 4 in the Apostle John series.
Now, the checking part.
Not just the spelling, the quotation marks, and other punctuation… but the various timelines that run through the series.
While this series takes four books (so far) it actually covers a three or four year period. (The fourth cover is not ‘set’ as yet.)
From Jan 92 AD – until, so far, December 95 AD. When book five is written there will be another year (proposed).
In writing these books, I have discovered so much about faith. In our time we might be beset by false teaching, have terrorists to pray about (and I do not belittle all that the victims of a terror organization have suffered) but basically, we have it pretty good.
We can worship God freely… for the moment
We can buy Bibles and study them… again, for the moment
We can travel to our places of worship, sometimes far distant… in safety. (Yes, you know the next bit)
In the time period I have been writing about, those first believers were at the mercy of the Roman overlords, the whim of a crazed Roman emperor, liable to be denounced as dissidents by either pagans or Jews.
In the beginning of the faith of the ‘Way’ they were able to worship in the synagogues, but then came the Birkat ha-Minim – the blessing on the heretics, which was really a curse. Followers of Christ could not recite it when they attended with the Jews in the synagogue. It was part of the synagogue worship.
Of course there was always the arena in the background… a threat.
The faith of those first Christians was determined, committed, and they chose death over compromise.
After all, they would have had peace if they had done the once yearly ‘act of worship’ to the Roman emperor. It wasn’t much to ask – or was it?
To them it was… it would have broken the First Commandment.
In choosing to keep the commandments of God it sometimes cost them their earthly lives.
I often wondered as I tried to step into the shoes of these people, would I have had the strength of faith they did?
More next time