And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus…you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash.” Acts 19:35-36
Our “little town clerk” was actually the most important official and chief executive officer of the civic assembly in Ephesus. As secretary he published its decisions and served as the city’s go-between for the local and the Roman authorities. Perhaps he lived in a fine villa with a gorgeous wife and incredibly talented children. Who knows if that would have made him more hateful … or forgettable. Public servants of every rank tend to rankle an often ignorant and sometimes arrogant citizenry.
As citizens of the Commonwealth of Heaven we might rethink our next Thanksgiving table. What if we mentally pulled up some extra chairs and offered them as seats of honor to the faceless people of our community whose services we employ and whose humanity we have forgotten. What if we thanked God specifically for their contributions to our well-being? What about a written note of thanks to the garbage collector or a kind word of appreciation to the unsmiling clerk at the Department of Motor Vehicles? (Part 2 of 2)
Comment: Talk about the onset of Covid-19 and the social havoc it created when stringent safety measures were imposed on private and public establishments. Businesses shut down, restaurants closed, the ranks of the jobless and homeless swelled, tempers flared, and moods soured. Domestic violence increased and so did homicides As of this writing, an acceptable degree of normalcy has returned and toilet paper jokes are rare. Even so, some new words have crept into our language to disturb us, such as supply chain blockage, labor shortage, and food insecurity.
I miss the good old days most at my supermarket. Various familiar faces and friendships are gone. Some new people avoid eye contact. Others act like robots that are not programmed for common courtesies. The delightful former produce manager retired and I miss him saying, “You make my day when I see you come into the store.” I finally met his very satisfactory replacement and have decided to warm up David for starters. This is how I did it with my old friend Mike: I kind of slid up to him in a respectful way and whispered secretively, “Do you know that some vegetables are dangerous? Why else do potatoes have eyes, corn has ears, and celery stalks? (They are safe on Thanksgiving, unless served with tofu turkey or boiled ham.)