Enabling the work of God
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Acts 18: 24-28
24 Now there came to Ephesus a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria. He was an eloquent man, well-versed in the scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord; and he spoke with burning enthusiasm and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross over to Achaia, the believers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. On his arrival he greatly helped those who through grace had become believers, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Messiah is Jesus.
“Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.” (Reaching Out by Henri Nouwen.)
In Ephesus, Paul trusts Priscilla and Aquila to welcome into their home those who are wanting to find out more about Jesus.
Whilst Paul is away, articulate Apollos speaks enthusiastically about Jesus at the synagogue. Apollos has not yet met Paul and is (like all of us) on a journey to discover the full expression of the faith, lived out in the power of the Holy Spirit.
On hearing Apollos speak, Priscilla and Aquila ’invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately’. These words imply that their first gift to Apollos was of hospitable welcome, encouraging him as a fellow follower of Jesus.
Priscilla and Aquila’s lives have been enriched by the influence of Paul’s words and lifestyle, throughout the time in Corinth, and on the journey to Ephesus. Now, God entrusts Apollos to them – to share their knowledge in a way that forms friendship and enables the work of God in Apollos’ life. The grace-filled characters of Priscilla and Aquila makes their ‘tutoring’ acceptable to Apollos and paves the way for him later to meet with Paul.
Scargill Community, where I live and work, is made up of diverse people at different stages of their life and faith journeys, from different countries and traditions. We believe the truth of: ‘lives shared – lives transformed’ with Jesus at the centre. Each day we pray together, share our meal table with guests, and work alongside one other in the common tasks of hospitality.
Conversation between us ranges widely and has different moods from shared laughter to more heated exchanges. What we do know is that God uses our shared life, and commitment to one another in this adventure, to make us more like Jesus – giving us opportunities to practise patience and forbearance with one another, as well as be encouraged and taught new things.
Jesus our Friend,
Weave us lovingly into the community of believers
That carry the beauty of Your Presence
As we welcome others into our home.