First Presbyterian Church of Blackwood
21 E. Church Street
Blackwood, NJ 08012
Sermon Notes (Sunday, October 3, 2021)
Rev. Dr. Mouris A. Yousef, Pastor
“Priscilla and Aquila: Real Followers … Real Impact!”
Acts 18:1-4; Romans 16:3-5
There is a repeating pattern in the book of Acts that I believe deserves our attention. This pattern is repeated over and over again in the story of the Early Church. It’s hard to miss it! It goes like this: people invite people. People bless people. People help other people to encounter the love and the grace of Jesus. People share with people the good news of Jesus of Nazareth. We have to remember that for over 300 years, Christians didn’t have church buildings or designated worship or sacred places.
The message of Christ didn’t spread through programs, committees, or any organized boards; rather, it spread primarily through dedicated followers of Jesus; it spread through the witness of the Body of Christ collectively. The message was shared everywhere: at homes, in the marketplace, and at workplaces. The gospel was proclaimed in season and out of season. Authentic Christians, real followers of Jesus, through the work of the Holy Spirit, impacted and transformed their communities. The couple I would like to introduce this morning is no exception.
Aquila and Priscilla are two heroes whose lives had enormous impact on God’s kingdom. Who were Aquila and Priscilla? Luke tells us they come from Pontus “modern day Turkey”, a reminder on this World Communion Sunday that God’s Kingdom extends beyond our bounds. Much can be said about Aquila and Priscilla, but for the sake of our time today, I would like to underscore a single thought on this World Communion Sunday as we reflect on the lives of these two wonderful followers.
Aquila and Priscilla and Mentoring Others
The work of mentoring is a hard work. Nurturing others is not an easy job. The book of Acts tells us that Priscilla and Aquila were excellent in mentoring others. The more we read about Aquila and Priscilla, the more we get to know that they made room for others in their lives. Aquila and Priscilla were always ready to help others; to offer hospitality; to teach them the way of the Lord.
In the book of Acts, Luke makes sure that we get it. In fact, the Biblical references about Aquila and Priscilla challenge our lives today in such a profound way. More than once, the Bible tells us that Aquila and Priscilla embraced others; they made room for others in their lives. Let us see what the Bible says about them and how they encourage us today to do the same.
Friends, people like Aquila and Priscilla leave a lasting impact on God’s Kingdom. Imagine the impression they left in Corinth, in Ephesus, and in Rome. We need more like Aquila and Priscilla in our Churches today, don’t we? We need people who are willing to listen, to help, to guide and to mentor. We need people whose houses are churches. We need people who open their hearts, homes, property – giving of themselves as unto the Lord.
Tradition has it that Aquila and Priscilla eventually died in Ephesus as martyrs like Paul. Yet, their lives still speak to us today, even though they are dead. I wonder what legacy we are leaving behind. What will the next generation remember us with? May God help us to remember that real followers impact the world and leave a lasting mark on those around them. In the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!
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