In 165 AD, a devastating epidemic swept through the Roman empire, killing 1/3 of the population, incl. Emperor Marcus Aurelius…
In 251 AD, another plague hit the empire, this time both rural and urban areas were affected…
“ Most of our brothers showed unbounded love…never sparing themselves and thinking only of one another…Heedless of danger, they took charge of the sick, attending to their every need and ministering to them in Christ …drawing on themselves the sickness of their neighbors and cheerfully accepting their pains…” Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria, AD260
“ The heathen behaved in the very opposite way. At the first onset of the disease, they pushed the sufferers away and fled from their dearest , throwing them into the roads before they were dead and treated unburied corpses as dirt, hoping thereby to avert the spread and contagion of the disease; but do what they might, they found it difficult to escape.” Bishop Dionysius
Result? ‘ Miraculous’ healing Huge Conversions Growth of Christian population Spread of Christian love/principles throughout empire!
“ The impious Galileans support not only their poor, but ours as well, everyone can see that our people lack aid from us.” Emperor Julian, AD362, trying to create pagan charities to match the Christians!
"You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can't worship God and Money both.” (Matthew 6:24) “ But Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” (Matthew 6:33)
How do we ensure we always serve God, not Mammon? How can we make kingdom use of $$ in our lives? How can we ensure that when the Mammon PLAGUE strikes, we will be powerfully different ?
Here are some of the working conditions the labourers must endure…
Iris Fashions 72-80. 12-15 hour shifts; 6 days a week. $0.20 No union; workers paid a $0.06 an hour premium for overtime;$0.02 for each shirt collar sewn. Conditions Wages Per Hour Hours Per Week
You Li Fashion factory 93. 7.30-midnight. 7 days a week. $0.13 No overtime pay; no benefits; sometimes employees need to work 24-hour shifts, 6-8 people to a dorm room; dorm is dark and dirty; workers afraid; under constant surveillance; no Corporate Code of Conduct Conditions Wages Per Hour Hours Per Week
Yue Yuen Factory 77-84. 11-12 hour shifts; 7 days a week. $0.19 Forced overtime, no overtime premium paid; excessive noise pollution; fumes in factory; no Code of Conduct Conditions Wages Per Hour Hours Per Week
Some organisations you should put your money into…
“ I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” (Philippians 4:11-13)