Daily Worship

Pulling up the tent pegs

Jo Penn May 15, 2023 1 0
Image credit: Unsplash
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Acts 18: 18 (NRSVA)

18 After staying there for a considerable time, Paul said farewell to the believers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had his hair cut, for he was under a vow.

The New Testament seems to present Paul as someone completely focused on serving God, willing to do whatever it takes to reach people to tell them about Jesus. He endures hardships, shipwrecks and beatings on the way, but when he is welcomed into a community, where a small group of believers in Jesus are birthed, he is committed to teaching them, often staying amongst them for months at a time, but then also willing to leave, continue his travelling to new places, building a network of friendship and passionate followers of Jesus, as God leads him.

Priscilla and Aquila, having moved from Rome to Corinth, are now willing to travel with Paul – setting off on a journey once again. Having downsized once they are freed to move again and the Tentmaking trade is taken to a new place. Their hearts are set on supporting the work of spreading the good news about Jesus.

Israelite history, enacted through their festivals such as the Feast of Tabernacles, spoke of a people set free from slavery in Egypt and wandering for 40 years in the desert, learning from God what it means to be a nation.

Did it help Priscilla and Aquila to know that they were from a people who had this deep memory of being on the move, following the pillar of cloud or fire as a visible sign of God leading them?

My own immediate family tree includes people from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Scandinavia. Trades include farmers, miners, wheelwrights, shop-keepers, secretaries, teachers – ordinary folk working out a living in the communities they find themselves in, like Priscilla and Aquila.




God, I can trace the path that led me here,

Gave me a vision of my role,

But it easily becomes my identity,

And I forget that you called me first to follow you.

Let me not listen to my own ambition, ambivalence and inertia.

Take me down a peg or two to get my attention,

Because I do want to follow you.

Give me courage to seek your adventure and decamp,

I trust you with those you have entrusted to me,

Lead us on.