January 30 Day 30
How Then Shall We Live?
Devotions on Living a Deeper Christian Life
“The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”- Psalm 27:1
The Witness of Telemacus
Photo Credit: Depiction of Gladiator games by Jean Leon Gerome Pollice Verso
There was a monk in the 4th century after Christ, who lived in a Cloister. One day while he was all by himself intensely studying, he believed God said for him to go to Rome. “Rome?” he thought, “I don’t want to go to Rome, I’m studying in this cloister.” But he felt the irresistible call of God to go Rome, and so he packed everything he had into a little satchel, threw it over his shoulder, put on his habit, and started westward over the dusty roads.
When he got to Rome, he discovered tremendous excitement going on and people rushing about. He said, “What’s going here?”
The people answered, “This is the day of the games!” This is when the gladiators come in to fight the animals, gladiators fight the gladiators, and people die for the glory of Caesar.” The monk wondered if this was the reason why God had sent him here.
The little monk, Telemacus, went down and looked into the arena and saw a crowd of 80,000 cheering as huge gladiators were coming out shouting, “Hail, we who will die to the glory of Caesar!”
Telemacus saw all this and said, “This is not right! Four centuries after Christ, this is not right!” He went rushing down, jumped up unto the parapet, and down into the middle of the arena, and started to shout in a squeaky voice, (for he been cloistered for years), “In the Name of Christ, Fore Bare!”
The crowd began to laugh and chant, “Get that little man off the field!” A big gladiator came over and took the back of his sword and hit Telemacus in the stomach, sending him spinning off into the dust. The little monk got up and dusted himself off and ran back in between two gladiators. Again he shouted, “In the name of Christ, Fore Bare!”
Now the crowd began to chant, “Run him through, Run him through! Run him through!” and a big gladiator came over and took his sword and ran it through the stomach of Telemacus.
The little monk fell into the sand, and as the ground began to redden around him, he spoke with his last breath of air. One last time with the last ounce of breathe in him, he squeaked out, “In the name of Christ, Fore Bare!”
Silence came over that amphitheater. In the upper tier, a man stood up and walked to the exit. Within a matter of minutes the amphitheater was empty.
It was the last known gladiatorial contest in the history of Rome.
(by Chuck Colson, Radical Faith: Answers to Mess We’re In.-audio tape)
This is being a witness. Telemacus announced the Gospel with his life. He was a witness. Someone once said, “If Christianity were against the law, would there be enough to convict you? ” Your greatest legacy will be those who live Eternally because of your efforts to share Christ to those that are perishing.
Be strong to stand in the gap when you see an injustice. Your actions just might change a whole generation for many years to come.
Words to Think About…
“Courage is simply not just one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.“- C.S.Lewis
“Forgiveness is the balm of healing that soothes and heals the wounds of error. Joy is the fresh new path, stretching out before the forgiver and the forgiven.” – V. Gilbert Beers in “Joy Is . . .”