THRIVING IN CHANGE
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life. Romans 16:3-4
In a day when so many have lost their jobs and businesses and are trying to get any kind of employment to make ends meet (even something that has nothing to do with their field of education), it is easy to believe that life is over. Watching their homes go into foreclosure, moving across state lines to live with parents and relatives, these undermine feelings of stability.
It is always comforting to know the stories of those who have gone before us. Priscilla and Aquila, invaluable in their work for the kingdom, lived on the run. Stability was not measured by predictability but by learning to rest in a God who would use them and provide for them no matter where they went.
Originally from Pontus, they settled in Rome. Not there long, they were forced to leave when the Emperor Claudius expelled Jews from the city. Did they leave everything behind? Was it a fast and traumatic exit?
They went to Corinth and set out to make a living there. Aquila became a tent maker and that’s where he met Paul. Instead of settling in Corinth for life, Aquila and his wife left with Paul when he left. Together, they went to Ephesus to begin life, yet again, in a new place. But Paul got into trouble there when a mob, led by those in the ‘idol making industry’, rioted against him. Again, Aquila and Priscilla stood with him and left everything to move back to Rome.
In Rome, they established a house church and continued to disciple believers and give their lives for the kingdom. Pontus, Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, and back to Rome. Many changes – some chosen – some not.
No matter what life brings regarding employment, housing, and where we are forced to live, kingdom life can still thrive. Our identities are not written by earth but by the One to whom we belong. Even as sojourners, our mouths still work to spread a Gospel that lives long after us. May God help each of us re-define what stability means. Change is not our enemy. False expectations, however, have driven many to despair.
Aquila, my brother, Priscilla, my sister ~ among the cloud of witnesses praying for us as uncertainty threatens. I remember their story. Amen