Advent: Pre-Contemplation

December 5, 2016

romansIn the days of the Roman Empire in Palestine, when Herod was the designated Hebrew King, and Pontius Pilate the Roman Procurator, the vast majority of local people were focussed on eeking out an existence. Many were angling to rise in wealth or power. Some were on the verge of living a comfortable life by playing the system. And a few had already made it into significant power and/or wealth.

Among all the ranks there was a small number who were beginning to wonder if change was in the wind. Their grandfathers and grandmothers were bringing to their attention many signs of the impending fulfillment of the ancient prophecies of a Hero who would be a Savior, releasing them from their bleak and servile lives. Students of history who had read of such beliefs in every generation – even in the distant past – cynically cast such opinions aside.

Those who were wondering were in what we now call a stage of pre-contemplation. They were thinking about it, but were not yet intending to take any action. The ancient Scriptures were important to them, but they did not have a significant enough complaint about life to apply them to the present.

And so the increasingly secular and practical life continued. The Romans little by little encroached on the Hebrew law. People were allowed to buy birds, sheep, and bulls in the Temple courtyard to satisfy the law of the tithe. The arrogance of the Hebrew leaders was becoming more and more a feature of their role. The whole system worked well enough….

And then, events conspired to bring a few people into contemplation of the coming change….

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