Paul and the Isthmian Games

For the past two weeks, the world has watched as 2,930 athletes from 92 countries braved the cold and snow of PyeongChang, Korea, to compete in winter sports. I find it incredible watching people break records and achieve things with their bodies that have never been done before. It honestly makes me wonder how much our bodies are actually capable of! As you may know, the Olympics were a Greek tradition from about 776 BC to AD 393. The events that were included in the ancient games, however, were all summer events. After the modern games began in 1896, winter events were gradually included in the Olympic program until the first winter olympic games were held in 1924. Ever since then, every four years, the world comes together in the ice and snow to achieve the impossible.

The ancient Olympic Games were events that drew the world together as well, even more than they do today. But they were not the only games that the ancient world attended. The Isthmian Games were held every other year, both the year before an Olympics and the year after an Olympics, in the city of Corinth. In preparation for the games held in the spring of AD 51, Paul and eventually Silas and Timothy, made their way there. Many of the people who attended these games would stay in tents, which is probably one of the reasons Paul went to Corinth. There he met a couple by the name of Aquila and Priscilla. "So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers" (Acts 18:3). Here, Paul stayed for nearly 2 years, using the attendance of the Isthmian Games to share the Gospel. Do we have opportunities like that today? Try to find things that are already drawing people together and use them as an avenue to share the gospel. Who knows who you will be able to reach this way.