Friday, March 5, 2021

Equality in the church

      I love being able to see the "realness" of those in the Bible. I recently enjoyed learning more about Priscilla and Aquila. The apostle Paul knew they had left Rome. Then when Paul went to Corinth he goes and works with them. Since they were tentmakers and he also was a tentmaker, they invite him to work with them so he can make extra money while he is working to build the church there. Paul stays a year and a half. The longest he stays in any place on his missionary journeys.

     He obviously felt a great connection with them since he mentions them in several passages. In Romans 16:3-5 he says,  "Greet Priscilla and Aquila, they risked their lives for me. Not only I but  all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them."

     In Corinth, there was a huge cast system. Many levels in that society, and even though you may go to the same functions, you had to wear different clothes and you even were served different foods. Paul was wanting to instill in the church at Corinth that we are all equal to God.  They had a home church and he wanted them to know that they could all take communion together, we can all serve together and we can all worship together. 

     Portions from I Corinthians 1:10-31, "Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there by no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgement...That no man should boast before God. Let him who boast, boast in the Lord. " 

     1 Corinthians 3:7, " So then neither the one who plants not the one who waters is anything, but God who waters who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

     I Corinthians 12:13, "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."

     Paul then goes into I Corinthians 13 telling us if we do not have love then we have nothing.  There were so many divisions in the church at Corinth. I believe this concept is also relevant for us today. In today's world and also within the church, we segment everything. Here was a house church where they were all together, ate meals together, and took communion together. These days we are often not happy with the music or kids programs. Those are not the focus within the church. Love is. Loving everyone, no matter who they are or what they have done, where they have lived, or even their political affiliation. 

     I am thankful for a great church that is very loving and supportive. I know there is more I can do to show love to those around me. Dear reader, I want to encourage you to include everyone as you open your home and church. Be a Priscilla or Aquila. Be welcoming. Love on those around you. 

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