In today’s first reading we again read from the Revelation. It is an early section in the scripture referred to as Letters to the Churches of Asia (1:4–3:22). Part of today’s text is the Letter to the community of Laodicea. The city was founded by Antiochus II Seleucid and named for his wife Laodice sometime prior to 240 BC. It was principally known as an agricultural and marketing center, but also known for banking, large manufacturing and its textile industry. The city was home to a prestigious medical center which discovered a well-known eye salve. There is ample testimony to a large, influential Jewish community in the city (cf. Josephus, Antiquities 14.241-243) for in 61 AD the Jewish community gave 22 lbs of gold to the Temple in Jerusalem and archeological discoveries have uncovered inscriptions regarding the feast of unleavened bread and Pentecost. Continue reading