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The Word on the Week

Greek Tragedy

It’s nearly 2,000 years since the Apostle Paul heard the Macedonian call to “Come over and help us”. The people of Greece could do with a little help again today! This time however, whatever the spiritual needs are, they pale in the face of the gigantic load of debt which the European Community seems determined must be repaid.

Just how they managed to run up such a debt is a question we Irish should be able to answer – when we get the answer to our similar question from the Bankers Tribunal! The Bank Guarantee which sealed our financial fate was struck in Dublin in the small hours of the morning. The Greek parliament was called to a meeting at 5 minutes to midnight last night -seems familiar!

The easy way out of all this would be for the Greeks to bid farewell to the EC, declare bankruptcy and reinstate the Drachma. No longer tied to the Euro and relatively free of debt the old currency could find its own level in the financial markets. This would suit most Greeks but not the big boys in their boats! Those sleek super-cruiser owners would not take kindly to the drop in their asset value which would come about if the Drachma was reintroduced.

Joining them in their disapproval would be the more wealthy EU States who would have to write off their Greek loans. It might even remind Germany of the post World War loans which were cancelled for her, but that may be too far back to stretch the national memory!

Such thinking will never darken the door of Brussels where they are busy adding to the Greek debt by arranging another ‘bailout’. Ironically we Irish may be asked to contribute to this one having ourselves been a bailout recipient in recent times!

So bring on the Apostle Paul! We know what he would do. He would look out for believers, join them in prayer and preach Jesus as Messiah, crucified and risen. The response then was immediate and resulted in the first baptisms in Europe!

Opposition followed in the form of a fortune-telling slave girl who followed them shouting “These men are servants of the Most High God who are telling you the way to be saved”. St Paul, in the name of Jesus, commanded the spirit to come out of her and the spirit left her. Her owners were enraged that their source of income was gone, had the Apostles flogged and cast into prison (Acts Chapter 16 verses 11-24).

Material considerations were not allowed to get in the way of the Gospel in those days –read Verses 25- 40 – and neither should they today. God can turn around the most unlikely of situations. He did it for his people then. He will do it for his people today.