Once they heard this, they were beside themselves with anger and began to shout, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” The city was thrown into turmoil. They rushed as one into the theater. They seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from the province of Macedonia. Paul wanted to appear before the assembly, but the disciples wouldn’t allow him. Even some officials of the province of Asia, who were Paul’s friends, sent word to him, urging him not to risk going into the theater. Meanwhile, the assembly was in a state of confusion. Some shouted one thing, others shouted something else, and most of the crowd didn’t know why they had gathered. The Jews sent Alexander to the front, and some of the crowd directed their words toward him. He gestured that he wanted to offer a defense before the assembly, but when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” This continued for about two hours. The city manager brought order to the crowd and said, “People of Ephesus, doesn’t everyone know that the city of Ephesus is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven? Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you must calm down. Don’t be reckless. The men you brought here have neither robbed the temple nor slandered our goddess. Therefore, if Demetrius and the craftspeople with him have a charge against anyone, the courts are in session and governors are available. They can press charges against each other there. Additional disputes can be resolved in a legal assembly. As for us, we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since we can’t justify this unruly gathering.” After he said this, he dismissed the assembly. (Acts 19:28-41, CEB)
A lot of people spend a lot of time talking about what they are against.
Even when they phrase it as a positive, it is usually slanted towards what they are against. If I were to say that someone is Pro-Life, I usually think that someone is anti-abortion.
The people of Ephesus were worried that Artemis was being defamed. But the ones there speaking for the Way were not saying anything against Artemis. They were proclaiming God’s love. We do not speak about what we are against but what we are for.
We as followers of the way are for love.
We are for everyone understanding that God loves them.
Loving People. Loving God.