The Journey 157
Read: Acts 18:1-23
Yesterday was a memorable for all the people in England. The Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Queen Elizabeth, was telecast live and millions of people through out the world viewed it live. The Queen described the diamond jubilee celebrations as an experience that was humbling.. The President of United States, Barack Obama praised the Queen and said that she stood as a witness to the power of the alliance between the UK and US. What was one of the significant aspect of the celebrations was the thanksgiving service that was held at the St Paul's Cathedral. This thanksgiving service was attended by around 2,000-strong congregation, where one of the highlights was the sermon by out-going Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Some of the excerpts of his sermon is worthy to be quoted and to be given a second thought because of its high note of thinking and the fresh light that the Archbishop sheds on some common biblical concepts. While praising the Queen for her dedication, he said “ Dedication to the service of a community in a biblical sense not only involves an absolute purge of selfish goals, but it is also the opening of a door into shared riches. I don't think it's at all fanciful to say that, in all her public engagements, our Queen has shown a quality of joy in the happiness of others; she has responded with just the generosity St Paul speaks of in showing honour to countless local communities and individuals of every background and class and race. She has made her ‘public’ happy and all the signs are that she is herself happy, fulfilled and at home in these encounters”. The thought that dedication is all about not only purging of selfish goals but also opening the doors to shared riches. I think these words and ideas are powerful not only for the growth of a nation, but more for an individual and also in the context of family, especially as we think this week on transformation in our family.
This week we are meditating on the theme “ Transformation in our Family”. The portion that we will take for our meditation is from Acts 18, which describes the life style of a couple Aquila and Priscilla. Here is a couple who are involved in their own profession but consciously made attempts to share their riches with others. Theirs was a home where the apostles could come and stay. A home that was open to others, a home that was hospitable. They were gracious host to the whole church even when they lived at two different places, Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:19, 5-9; Acts 19:10) and Rome (Romans 16:3-5). It is believed that Paul was a recipient of their hospitality, and it is presumed that it is in their home that he wrote the letter to the Thessalonians. A couple who understood that riches in life is all about a home that is open to others, and being hospitable to others, and that is when ones own family life is also enriched. We live in a world where we are very choosy about who comes to our home, how we spend our finances and try to be very closed to others even as a family. Here is Aquila and Priscilla teaching us that if our family life has to be enriched we need to open our homes and our life so that others could also share not only in our happiness but also in our riches that God has given to us and thus making our world of our family, little more wide. That is when we truly get the prayers, love and support from our fellow families, making ourselves and our family life a blessed experience. It is these experiences that will help us to realize what it means to be dedicated as propounded by the Archbishop in his sermon. The Queen said the celebrations were a humbling experience to her and if so let also think today as to how we can make our life and our family life a humbling experience to each other.