Scripture: Matthew 10:34-39; Acts 2:37-42
We are continuing with our sermon series, Church and State: The Rise of Early Christianity. We are in the fourth and final part of our sermon series. Each week we’re going to be examining the church fathers and mothers who made a contribution that propelled the faith forward. Their efforts are going to result in Christianity being fully transformed from a growing religion that was being persecuted, into the official religion of the Roman Empire.
This week we are talking about a church mother, a woman named Vibia Perpetua, who was born in Carthage. As more and more people in Carthage began to convert to Christianity, the church garnered a really negative reputation. Christianity was ripping families apart and causing a lot of pain and heartache, which eventually resulted in a violent backlash where Christians were arrested and punished for their affiliation with the church.
At the age of 22, Perpetua was one of these people who was arrested, and along with her newborn son, she was placed in prison. We know all of this because Perpetua wrote a first person account telling us of her time in prison. Her account provides us with some unique insight into the Christian faith and how it was impacting the culture and society of the Roman Empire during the 2nd century.
Indeed, as we will find, her journal illustrates how Christianity is the first movement that promotes egalitarian notions of equality. In other words, Christianity is the first faith to make the statement: all humans are equal in God’s eyes. I hope that you can be present on Sunday. We only have five sermons to go in this series and there’s a lot of important things for us to learn. Peace and love to you all.