Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Chloe's House

For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. I Corinthians 1:11

She is mentioned in the Bible only once. But there she is in Paul's letter to the Corinthians. One of the charming features of his letters is that he mentions people's names. Paul could be so painfully learned and abstruse sometimes, he really needs to be studied over and over. Then suddenly up pops a little bit of gossip upon which Paul later bases a major idea.

Maybe I should not, but I like to try to picture the scene. First, Paul is invited to stay, either with Chloe, or members of her little group. I imagine them having a nice meal, and someone says, "Paul, I hate to bring this up, but we are having trouble among those in our group. There are divisions among us."

Paul later reflects on this, maybe prays over it, and includes it in a letter. Almost two thousand years later, millions of people have read this letter and learned an important lesson from it.

Paul could have made his point without this mention. But this great man includes an intimate detail. He has learned a troubling fact, not through the visitation of an angel or a vision, but from those of Chloe's house.

"Chloe, Paul has so honored you and perhaps your home church, by including your name in what became Holy Scripture."

Paul did not wear priestly robes and speak from an elevated platform. He was, despite his great knowledge, down to earth, and not ashamed to speak of Chloe's house.

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