The Gospel accounts of Jesus’ ministry are filled with stories of hospitality — Jesus entertained and Jesus entertaining. In the Gospel of John, our first and last glimpses of Jesus show him hosting his disciples. After his baptism, he entertains his first disciples at his home after catching them trailing him like curious fans, and after his resurrection, he is found on the shore of the Sea of Galilee preparing fish and bread for his weary disciples coming in from a night of fishing.
Forty years ago this fall, I rolled into Walla Walla as a new faculty member. That’s a marker worth celebrating. The only people I really knew then were Dale and Wilma Hepker, but when I arrived on campus with all my worldly goods stashed in a moving van, I was full of hope that I would find a home here, a community I could be a part of. Helen Evans Zolber had explained something of the challenge. “There is really not a lot to do around here,” she said, “so we have to entertain each other.”
I woke up at 5:30 that morning of my first day in India. I had a solid 15 hours of jet-lagged sleep and was ready for this new day. My hosts Bruce and Anne Johanson had told me they enjoy sipping tea on the balcony in the early morning hours, and when I slipped out onto our shared balcony, I found them already there.
I was outside my natural habitat, standing before an art design class, but the professor, Martha Mason, builds her classes on a spiritual foundation and a belief that art is important to everyone, not just artists. My limited experience in artistic design focused on redecorating my house, a task I approached with pure mortal terror. I had decorated it once, so doing it again should be no sweat. The house was over 30 years old and I had built it myself when I first moved to Walla Walla.
On March 7, 203, Perpetua fought with the beasts in the arena of Carthage just weeks after her baptism as a Christian. She and her maid Felicity and four companions had been arrested and convicted on the charge of being Christians. Perpetua left behind a prison diary recording the events of her arrest, trial, imprisonment, and martyrdom.[i] This diary, unusual in giving a first-person account of martyrdom, is also notable as the earliest writing known to be written by a Christian woman.
Coauthored by Ginger Hanks Harwood
Spirits were at an all-time high among those who believed in William Miller’s proclamation of the Advent Near as October 22, 1844, approached! The Lord they loved above all else was coming to dissolve the chasm dividing earth and heaven and take them home. God was creating a new world where former things are passed away and all things made new.