Ken Rudge, St. Austell, England
‘Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom . . . I give thanks’, 1 Cor. 16. 3, 4.
It is very important to feel that we all have a part in the work of the Lord and that this is both available to us and that it is valued and appreciated at whatever level of public notice it is carried out at.
The vast majority of the Lord’s people never gain public notice or recognition of their service for Christ here and now. This in no way devalues the importance of that which is done and we await the Lord’s own recognition and evaluation in a coming day.
Of such could be said to be Aquila and Priscilla, mentioned briefly on six occasions in our New Testament scriptures. They flash but momentarily on the page of the records amidst the on going story or listings of others, to be noted and then passed over, yet the contribution they made to so many believers lives, including the apostle Paul’s, cannot be underestimated, it was mammoth.
They are always linked together in each reference as a married couple, and thus the Lord would underscore for us the vital work married couples contribute, often unseen, to the work of God. Although it is often pointed out and various slants taken on the fact that Priscilla precedes Aquila on three of the six occasions of their mention, I would only suggest that the Spirit is commenting thus on the equality of their service. It was something they did together as a unified and agreed ministry, each playing their own vital part in it. This is the strength of any married couple’s contribution to the work of the Lord. It must be that which they do together and in harmony to be really productive. It could be of great benefit, if those of us that are married, were to spend a few moments reflecting upon the contribution we make as a married couple to the assembly work.
They were very flexible as to where they could offer this united contribution. The chief contributor to this was the job that they were employed in. Their trade as tentmakers was pretty universal and wonderfully adaptable to the demands of the work of God. Thus this couple are found in Corinth, Ephesus Rome and finally Ephesus again. Three vast and widely separated cities, yet their service is consistently of the same character and their flexibility enabled them to settle in and be available to the Lord almost immediately and as He required.
We would do well to escape from the rigid pitfalls of the demanding employment regime of our day if we possibly can. The young need to look for that kind of career that has the interests of Christ at its heart as well as their own aspirations. We could do with asking, in these days of minimized availability of those who can offer involvement in the assembly and its testimony, if in fact our jobs are not the greatest blockage to our ever being able to do anything much for Him.
Finally, I note that this largely unsung couple were totally dedicated to being there for the interests of the Lord and His people, wherever they were. Quality Christianity this! This is not the pretend stuff that just satisfies itself with putting on a show for certain times and days of any week. These are the kind of believers that did, when required, ‘risk their own necks’ and on each occasion and in each city, allow the ‘church to meet in their house’. One hundred per cent availability, and none of this, ‘therefore I cannot come’ mentality, is the only means of achieving this.
Their reward is certain and will last for ever. God allow us to be counted with them in ‘that day’!
In this magazine we are commencing the long awaited follow up by our brother Tom Bentley to his work on 1 Thessalonians. It’s a detailed exposition of second Thessalonians in our centre pages. We also commence a study by Bernard Osborne on the fruit of the Spirit and this is just one of the articles in this issue that draw our attention to the Holy Spirit and His work for us and in us. I would thoroughly recommend several readings of the description of how the assembly in York Street, Leicester, were led of the Lord to start their still ongoing work in the open air. You will find much to challenge and encourage.
Our brother Stephen Baker from Manchester has now joined the Trustees of the magazine and we look forward to his contribution to the future of the work in the will of the Lord.