10:52 a.m. - April 14, 2006
Of course, smiting your enemies is always an appropriately Christian thing to do.
But you know, there has been another discovery lately, and that discovery has recently been translated and sent to us here at Smed’s Corner for publication for the first time anywhere.
Recently, amongst some Roman ruins, some very old parchment with writing was unearthed. It was examined closely, translated, and verified by renowned scholars on the SmedCo payroll.
They are, without a doubt, newly discovered letters from St. Paul.
St. Paul was the author of many letters in the New Testament. Several of the letters attributed to him are verified as coming from his pen, while the authorship of other letters in the Bible is in dispute by scholars. Since he was imprisoned for the latter portions of his life, he certainly had to write more than the seven or ten or 13 letters that are attributed to him. So it was natural to believe that there had to be more letters. What else was he going to do in prison?
One of these letters is a second letter to Philemon!
However, we do feel that the following letters are definitely the work of St. Paul, and you, my gentle readers, get a first peek at them!
Paul, an apostle and prisoner of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
To the Emperor of Rome, named Nero.
Nero, I am entombed in your prisons because I am a servant of the Lord and of Jesus Christ, whose teachings I have been spreading throughout your land.
I hope by the Grace of the Lord and our Savior that you will take my entreaties and consider them, and may your heart fill with the blessings of the Lord.
I do not complain about my fate, as the Lord has compelled me to preach in his behalf. He fills me with strength and courage even when I am at my weakest, and he gives me hope when others can see just fear, doubt and despair.
The Lord has commanded me to spread His word and the word of His only son, Jesus Christ, and teach his teachings to all, as the word is for all of God’s children. I do this with no material wants or needs, and with no complaints as to the sacrifices I have made.
Yet, as a prisoner, I often wonder if there could be some improvements made to my fate. To wit, if you could see fit to upgrade the accommodations and the food here in my fortress.
I do understand that Marcus Callipax is doing the best he can as the cook for us, but he is an old man, and his recipes are getting old and stale. Plus, since you have started the massive persecutions, the prison is filling up, and portions are getting smaller. Plus, the gruel is tepid at best when it reaches me. Perhaps if you hired another helper in the pantry, this could help matters out.
Yet, I pray to the Lord and thank him for the food I am partaking. I pray to the Lord each day that he would fill your soul with kindness, much as the word of the Lord filled the heart of the Pharaoh and allowed Moses and his people to escape bondage.
My writing supplies are dwindling as well. I do understand and have sympathy with your fiscal issues and responsibilities; however, it is right and just for you to allow me to continue my writings, if not to spread the Good News, then to correspond with my friends and loved ones. The papyrus you have been giving me is also second rate. More often that not, I punch a hole right through it when I am making a salient point about the word of God, his love for all man, and the promises that the Lord has made unto us.
And I wonder if I could get a new cell mate? Archaphyx, I believe that is his name, has become hostile to my teachings. Of course, he does not understand my language, and I do not know from what land he comes from. He’s also starting to become rank.
May the grace of the Lord and the words of our Savior Jesus Christ fill your heart and your spirit, and you consider my request, Nero. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. Amen.
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of the Lord,
To the Circulation Department of the Tarsus Daily,
I am imprisoned here in Rome, as I have faithfully spread the word of the Lord and the teachings of our savior, Christ Jesus, and the authorities have seen fit to stop my preaching and witness.
I am grateful that you have tried to forward your publications to me. It has been hard to keep track of me, as I have traveled throughout the lands of the Earth in my work bringing the word of our Lord to his children.
Yet, I only receive two or three issues a week. I do not think it is a problem with your department. I do think that one of the guards here in the prison is also from Tarsus, and he has been filching my periodical before it has been delivered to me.
I only received one issue this week, and I know it was because he had the day off. He came in the next day stinking of wine and of gambling houses, and bragged about how he heard the news from Tarsus. When I tried to tell him the Good News about the Lord, he merely scoffed.
So, I must inform you that I feel it is best to cancel my subscription. I enjoyed your paper, and I will pray to the Lord and to Christ Jesus that the situation improves and I can start receiving your news again.
May the love and spirit of Christ and the Lord fill you always.
Paul, a servant and apostle of the Lord and of Christ Jesus
To Philemon, a fellow laborer in the work of the Lord.
I cannot fathom what is happening to our beloved Colossius Oxen? I do believe that the manager, Philo Maximus, knows not what he is doing. How can he leave Archimadus on the bench, while continuing to play Sextus Aurellianus at third base? Sextus has not had a good season since the last journey I made before my imprisonment.
There have been pitching issues as well. Philo knows not how to run a pitching staff. He leaves the starters in too long, most of the time. He must be waiting for Divine Intervention, but the Lord helps them who help themselves, so he needs to get the bullpen ready sooner.
Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, knew how to run an organization, and he had just 12 stout men follow him. Philo has 25 men, and cannot seem to lead them into temptation, much less lead them to a pennant.
I can only hope that the spirit of the Lord will work with the manager and the front office, and they will find the true ways in their heart and correct this problem. Otherwise, it will be another long year for us Oxen fans.
May the love of Jesus Christ sustain you through this trying time.
Paul, a prisoner and servant of the Lord and Apostle of Jesus Christ
To, my beloved Mother.
Mother, I know you think I am a silly, stubborn man. However, I am committed to serving the Lord and to spreading his word and the words of our Savoir, Jesus Christ, through the land.
I am an apostle of the Lord, and have made many sacrifices in my life. I know you would have rather have me become a rabbi, like my brother Rufus, or continued as chief persecutor. But I could not, I had to follow my heart and serve my Lord and Savior, and suffer the consequences of my decisions and my actions, because I know His way is the right and true way to salvation and peace.
He is not, as you say, a “long haired no-account freak that got his just desserts”. I know change is hard for you, but these are new times, and I am sure that I have followed the right path.
If you only saw what I saw on that road, then you’d change your mind. And no, I wasn’t “hopped up on the goofballs”. Mother, sometimes your imagination takes wild swings.
I hope and pray that you will soon open your heart to the teachings of Christ our Lord, and as your faithful and loving son I will pray every day that God will open your heart to these words.
Well, uh, I don’t think they’ll be adding them to the Bible anytime soon. However, it’s good to know that there are more fine examples of Paul’s writings out there, isn’t it? Happy Easter, everyone!