By Ken Asel

A Reading from Acts 18:1-11

1 After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers. 4 Every Sabbath he would argue in the synagogue and would try to convince Jews and Greeks.

5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with proclaiming the word, testifying to the Jews that the Messiah was Jesus. 6 When they opposed and reviled him, in protest he shook the dust from his clothes and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 Then he left the synagogue and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshipper of God; his house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the official of the synagogue, became a believer in the Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul became believers and were baptized. 9 One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people.” 11 He stayed there for a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Meditation

We learn that Paul, once he found his way to Greece, stayed in Corinth for approximately 18 months. It was not a popular stay. At least at first there is no indication that Paul was a convincing evangelist. That situation began to change once Paul met Titius, described as a worshiper of God, and Crispus, an official of the synagogue, and they converted. Encouraged by this and by the Lord himself, the man from Damascus argued for Christ with every opportunity which came his way.

Anxious to spread the gospel, Paul remained a fiery advocate for the transformation he himself encountered along the Damascus Road. He knew his time was short, and there was much to say and many individuals who needed the good news of Jesus Christ. In many ways and in many situations Paul’s life was characterized by his complete commitment to the story of Jesus, a story that changed not only Paul’s life but the innumerable lives he influenced in his mission to the Roman Empire.

Recently the Church of England proposed the goal of building 10,000 lay-led congregations in the United Kingdom. Long ago the Christian Church began witnessing to Christ, and hundreds, then thousands of people listened. Their lives became more authentic and more in tune with the dreams of our heavenly Father. One of those people was Paul of Tarsus. Another was Titus and one more was Crispus. Then, over supper and along the road, they shared their stories, and hearts were softened. This continues today, maybe in 10,000 new congregations, or 10,000 Bible studies, or conversations in pubs about how Jesus has been changing lives for thousands of years. As our souls change, so might thousands of others. Alleluia.

(The Reverend) J. Kenneth Asel, D.Min. is a retired priest from the Diocese of Wyoming. Devvie and he have been married for 30 years and have recently relocated again to the West and the Front Range. Ken hopes he never will need to move again.

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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas
The Diocese of Dogura (Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea)