How God’s People Kept Time

I like this observation from J.D. Walt at Seedbed’s Daily Text this morning:

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.”

A massive assumption dwells just under the surface of this first verse of the second chapter of the book.

We can capture the assumption in two words: Common Calendar. These earliest followers kept time not with a clock but with a calendar and their calendar was not characterized with a grid of boxes with numbers. Their common calendar came from their common text. Sure, they lived in a larger social context filled with the imperial holidays of Rome with its months named after Roman gods (and later Caesars— i.e. July-Julius, August-Augustus, etc.). However, the way these early Apostles and their community kept time came straight out of the scrolls that held them together. Time was not a never ending cycle of months and days. Time for Israel was the storied reality of chapter and page.