Our Minister: Rev. Richard Lowson

 


From the Manse …

Talking Heads - Priscilla

 

This week for our Talking Heads Character we look at Priscilla, you can find her story in Acts of the Apostles.

 

Hymn:    Come, now is the time to Worship

https://youtu.be/NPWq8eM4lu8

 

Opening Prayer:

I come this day to worship You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Open my heart, to receive Your love, my soul to receive Your Spirit and my mind to know to Your truth. For Your glory. Amen.

 

Reading: Acts 18vv1-11, 18-21, 24-28

 

Talking Heads – Priscilla by Linda Black

 

Looking back, I can see how the Lord has guided us.

After Aquila and I were married we moved to Rome to establish our business selling tents and leather goods. It supported our mission to share our faith.  We were a small group of believers in Rome, but the Jewish community opposed our brothers teaching about Jesus in the synagogues.  Some believed and joined us but sometimes their leaders caused riots.  That’s probably why Emperor Claudius banished all Jewish people from the city, it was not the Pax Romanus that he demanded!

As we prayed we believed the Lord was telling us to go to the city of Corinth in Achaia. Aquila and I set up our new business knowing there was a ready market for our wares.  We are highly skilled in our trade and our reputation soon spread through the city.  We also received many brothers and sisters into our home and saw them grow as disciples of the Lord.

It was about two years ago that a man arrived and told us he was a tentmaker looking for work. Well, we were glad of the help and invited him to come to supper.  It didn’t take long to discover that this was Paul, the famous missionary we had heard so much about!   Paul became a dear friend to us.  Over many months we poured over the scriptures that pointed to the Messiah.  We learnt so much from each other and just knew it was the Lord who had brought us together.

Every Sabbath Paul went to the synagogue to discuss those scriptures with the leaders. Then when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia bringing money from the churches, Paul was able work full time in his ministry. Things became more challenging as Paul was now proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah, explaining why He had come and how He had been rejected, crucified and raised from the dead, and that He is the Saviour who brings forgiveness of sins and eternal life through faith in Him. 

The Jews became abusive so Paul left the synagogue and shook out his clothes.  That was his way of saying ‘I am through with you!’  Now he would preach to the Gentiles.  It was rather amusing to see him go next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshipper of God, and preach to people there, in full view of the synagogue! Yet some did follow.  Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and all his household believed and joined us, and many people in the city heard the gospel and were baptised in the name of Christ. 

 

Paul could become discouraged and was thinking of moving on, but one night he had a vision from God telling him to stay.  Many came to the Lord during that time.  We had people to supper and times of worship in our home several times a week.     It was a joy to see people finding faith, being baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit. 

At the end of 18 months Paul felt the Lord was telling him to go back to Antioch.  We too felt it was time to move on as the church was well founded in Corinth.  So, we travelled with him to Ephesus, where once again we set up our business and a new home.  Paul spoke with some in the synagogue who wanted to know more, and he promised that if the Lord willed it, he would return.  Then he left to continue his journey.

It was not long after, that the Lord sent Apollos to us!  He came from Alexandria and spoke in the synagogue about the way of the Lord. He was a fine orator, well grounded in his scriptures, and he knew the story of Jesus, but as we listened, we felt there was something missing. Over supper he told us that he had repented of his sins and received the baptism of John. We realised he did not know the full story.  We took him under our wing and told him about our Lord’s ascension to heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  Not only had he repented, but he could receive full forgiveness and the hope of eternal life through Jesus.  He asked to be baptised in the name of Jesus, his Messiah, and we all rejoiced as we prayed with him and he received the Holy Spirit.  There was no holding him back after that! He spoke boldly and passionately about the Lord Jesus wherever he went!

A few weeks ago, Apollos heard the call to go to Achaia to continue God’s work.  We prayed with him and sent him on his way to Corinth with a letter introducing him to the fellowship there and encouraging them to welcome him.  He will be a great help to them, I’m sure.  The Lord is going to do great things through Apollos.  Paul will be delighted to hear about him when he comes back, and I am sure these two will become firm friends, just as we are.

I thank the Lord for bringing Paul, Silas, Timothy, Apollos, and so many brothers and sisters who follow the Way into our home.  It is always a miracle to see God working in people’s lives.  Aquila and I feel blessed that God has called us to teach and encourage his people in the faith.  They are our true family.  Thank you, Lord.

Three things to reflect on based on the story of Priscilla.

1. How do we use our gifts and skills to serve the community in which we live and worship?

2.  How can we use scripture to point to Jesus as Lord and Saviour in today’s world?

3. How can we encourage one another to go deeper with Jesus in our daily lives?

 

Prayer: We thank you, Lord, for the lives of people in the early church like Priscilla and Aquila, and their role in spreading the gospel.  We ask that you encourage and equip us to share the story of Jesus with those around us. May they come to know your love and grace in their lives.  In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Hymn:   Singing the Faith 410: Lord your church on earth is seeking……

 

A prayer of blessing

As this time of worship ends,

and I enter into the storms of life,

and the uncertainties which may come,

may I take heart that Jesus is present,

and ever live for His holy name.

And may the blessing of God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with me, and those whom I cherish in my heart, now and always.

Amen.

 

God Bless - Richard