1: Ahh.. Very passable, this, very passable.
2: Nothing like a good feast, ay Barnabas?
3: You’re right there Paul.
4: Who’d a thought 2000 years ago we’d all be sittin’ here in heaven drinking and feasting together?
1: Aye. In them days, we’d a’ been glad to have the price of a couple o’ pigeons.
2: A couple o’ cold pigeons.
4: Without salt or pepper.
3: Or pigeon!
1: Off a filthy, cracked plate.
4: We never used to have a plate. We used to have to eat out of a rolled up rag.
2: The best we could manage was to suck the juices off the rag.
3: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.
1: Aye. Because we were poor. Paul you used to say to me, “Money doesn’t buy you happiness.”
4: You were right. I was happier then and I had nothing’. We used to all go to church together in this tiny old temple, with great big holes in the roof.
2: Temple? You were lucky to have a temple! When I was in Ephesus we used to meet in one house, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of falling!
3: You were lucky to have a house church! In Damascus we used to have church in a corridor!
1: Ohhhh we used to dream of having fellowship in a corridor! Woulda’ been a palace to us. We used to meet out in a hut by the river in Philippi. We got splashed every morning by people being baptised!
4: Well when I say “temple” it was only really a tent, but it was a temple to us.
2: We were evicted from our tent; we had to go meet in a cafe!
3: You were lucky to have a cafe! There were a hundred and sixty of us doing church together under an aqueduct in the open air.
1: Roman aqueduct?
1: You were lucky. We did church for three months on a rubbish tip. We used to have to get there at six o’clock in the morning, clean a space in the tip, beg for some bread for communion, which we shared with the down-and-outs at the tip, go to work down brickworks for fourteen hours a day week in-week out to raise money for the wine. When we got home, our neighbours would persecute us for consorting with Gentiles!
2: Luxury. We used to have to get to our cafe at three o’clock in the morning, clean the cafe, feed the beggars in the square outside, go to work tent-making every day for tuppence a month, come back to the café, take out a loan for the communion bread and wine and preach the gospel until we fell asleep, if we were lucky!
3: Well we had it tough. We used to get to our aqueduct at twelve o’clock at night, and brush and landscape the patch of land. We would pray for healing for a handful of lepers, commune with the Holy Spirit for 5 hours and then work nineteen hours building the first hospital for sick children for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, the Pharisees would slice us in two with a bread knife.
4: Right. I had to sleep at our tent so I could get there, half an hour before I went to bed. I preached the gospel in my sleep, I would feed everyone in the city, whether they liked it or not, worked twenty-two hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when I came home, I would run all around the town so that my shadow would pass over anyone sick so they were healed by God, all whilst dancing and singing “Hallelujah.”
1: But you try and tell the young Christians today that… and they won’t believe you.
ALL: Nope, nope..