In the first century
It is the middle of the 1st century, near downtown Corinth, just after dark on a Saturday evening. People are strolling towards the Miller's house.
The Millers are a lower-level wealthy family, so their house is nice and big, and standing in their courtyard as the sun sets, when a cooling breeze kicks up, is one of the most wonderful experiences anyone in town could have. Inside, the wine is being poured, and the guests are beginning to arrive.
From the outside, it could be any rich person's party, except for the guest-list. Instead of rich friends and bureaucrats, this party includes a large number of poor people, ethnic Jews, and even slaves. That fact strikes the neighbors as scandalous, and has the neighborhood talking.
As the poorer Jews begin to arrive, they see the party in full swing. A lot of the wealthier, non-Jewish, guests arrived earlier, not chafing under the restrictions on Sabbath day travel. And a lot of them have imbibed too much wine already.
Pretty soon, people are drinking and showing off their new abilities. Some begin shouting over others, laughingly clamoring for attention. Others are boasting about how rich they are. Some of the husbands and wives are loudly arguing with each other.
It is to this scenario that Paul writes his letters.
Written the night before 5 April 2010, 7:09am. -Micah