Saturday, December 2, 2023

Building The World of Kedoshim - Part Two (What is Kedoshim?)


I fully intended on writing this post much sooner than right now, but honestly, I got pulled so far into this world, that I actually just completed the next story in 'The World of Kedoshim.'  Finding Philemon has been completed for some time, but during the month of November I challenged myself to write 50,000 words before the end of the month. Shocking even myself, I wrote a whole story; The Cyprus Journal. This is a story about John Mark and Barnabas in, you guessed it, The Island of Cyprus! 

That, my dear readers, is for another post though. This post is about the Origins of Kedoshim. I've had this in my head just bursting to get out since I posted part one of this series, Building The World of Kedoshim - Part One (Introductions). Please feel free to read that post before continuing to read on. 

Here it is, the moment you, well I, have been waiting for! What is Kedoshim? To answer that, I need to take you to the beginning once again. When all of this started in 2012, I wanted to build something memorable. I put so much passion and heart into researching different stories and biblical events. My college degree is in Biblical Studies so there had to be some purpose in why I felt God guided me to that degree. At first, I truly thought it was because I was called to preach and teach as a pastor. So that is where I put my focus. I found jobs that I could apply my knowledge to and went with it. In searching for those jobs, and working in them, I discovered the detailed story of Acts. Granted, I've always known about the book in the bible, but I really started discovering the deeper message while serving in ministry. 

With this new found understanding, I began to connect dots that I had never connected before and the idea for my biblical fictional world started brewing. I wanted to give this world of stories a name, and honestly, nothing seemed to fit. I had already coined the working title of "The Untold Journey" but something was missing from it. I thought and prayed about it for weeks and nothing came to mind. Just as I was about to give up, I was randomly searching Hebrew names for characters in the story and I found the word Kedoshim. I didn't know what it meant but it sounded like something meaningful. When I looked it up, I was in utter shock, it is the Hebrew word for Holy Ones. I was ecstatic, but how in the world did that fit with my story?

I continued to read through the book of Acts with that word in mind, and eventually found a verse actually in the book of Hebrews, coincidentally my favorite New Testament book, and it reminded me how often the biblical characters needed to be encouraged. Here is the verse... Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT...

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

I was completely stunned by this verse. The stories I wanted to tell were meant to be encouraging. They were meant to motivate people and to show them examples of what true faith was. These stories were supposed to have a purpose, and that purpose was to remind others that even the smallest act of love could produce good works in others. I still remember sitting in my office at the church where I was working the first time this verse totally hit home. Tears were coming down my cheeks and all. It was a touching revelation and I doubt I will ever forget it.

At the time, I had no idea that this verse would spur me further into the idea that was developing in my heart for this series. I began to realize, that the stories I wanted to tell were stories of hope, stories that would encourage others through the example the Bible set for us and I started connecting with the events that took place in the early church in more ways than I ever thought I would. When I finally combined the idea of the word Kedoshim with the book of Acts, everything changed. I would retell the story laid out in Acts, but through the eyes of fictional characters, I created one summer for a VBS. I was literally putting on a VBS about biblical characters and needed some way to bring them all together. Creating background stories for my fictional characters truly enriched my soul, and the VBS was a huge success. 

Nathaniel was born during that VBS and he was a runaway slave who would become a Christian after witnessing biblical events. Everything was coming together and Kedoshim would be a series of stories about early church missionaries who witnessed major biblical events and even took part in them from the sidelines. The epic stories of the New Testament would not have been possible without those secondary characters and I wondered who they were. I could not find much on them but, I surely could create them, and I was really good at it. The Untold Journey had a whole new meaning, and I was ready to bring that journey to life. So, what is Kedoshim? It is the untold journey of the 'holy-ones' who ministered in the early church from the sidelines, encouraging others as major biblical events unfold through the story given to us in the book of Acts.

Finding Philemon, The Cyprus Journal, and many more stories to hopefully come, are all part of this world, and I, for one, cannot wait to bring them all to life. Next time, more about the stories I've already thought up and about how they will all tie into the story of Acts. 

Thanks again for visiting "The Gathering Room,"


PS (You can find all episodes of Finding Philemon that are currently published on Amazon by going to this affiliate link. You can also follow my author hub, Writing the Journey,  on Facebook.)

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