Bulletin for 3-26-23
Birthdays and Anniversaries
3-29 Luis Camacho
Emma Reames has severe intestinal problem and adverse reaction to scan meds.
Stacey Esner has a severely sprained ankle, Joe had a growth removed from his scalp.
Chaney Reames is undergoing extensive dental work.
Gladys Ramirez will have a heart procedure soon.
Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Got stem cell treatments. Pray for their success.
Bill Grubbs recovering from back injury.
Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.
Teresa Weeks, Steve’s sister, having age related issues. She has Down’s Syndrome. Also a fractured shin.
Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care
Robert and Sue Waller, health issues
Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, good report
Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.
Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis
Encouragement and Opportunities
What a tumultuous couple of years Paul had, from being arrested and almost beaten to having assignation plots against him. Finally, to get justice, he had to appeal to have his case heard by Nero himself. Then there was the travel to get to Rome which ended up in his being shipwrecked on Malta. Finally Spring had arrived and travel resumed allowing him to be taken the rest of the way to Rome.
Although Paul knew God was with him, having been encouraged by an angel during the ill-fated voyage, he must have wonder what type of reception he would receive from the Christians – and Jews – in Rome. As they approached Rome he had to have been encouraged by what happened.
“From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli. There we found some brothers and sisters who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome. The brothers and sisters there had heard that we were coming, and they travelled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged. When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.” (Acts 28:13-16 NIV)
Puteoli was the nearest port to Rome, although there was still around 150 miles to travel, which would have taken at least a couple of weeks to walk. This would have given the Christians in Rome plenty of time to receive word that Paul was on the way. They travelled to meet him: Appius was about 45 miles from Rome and the Three Taverns (or Inns) was around 33 miles. This means that they travelled for several days to meet up with Paul and be with him as he completed the journey to Rome. That they were willing to do this shows us the love and concern that they had for him. He knew he had their support.
But what reception would he receive from the Jews, his fellow-countrymen? The Jews back in Judea were the reason Paul was a prisoner. When he was settled into his own house in Rome, guarded at all times by Roman soldiers, he sent for the Jewish leaders to explain why he, a Jew, was in Rome to have his case heard against other Jews.
“When they had assembled, Paul said to them: ‘My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.’” (Acts 28:17-20)
Paul assured them that he had nothing against the Jews but had been forced to appeal his case to Caesar to receive justice. This is why he wanted to talk with them and let them know that he was a prisoner because he believed in the hope of Israel.
They had heard nothing from Judea about him or his being a prisoner, but they were interested in learning more about what he believed. This gave Paul an opportunity to tell them about Jesus, using their own scriptures to back up what he said (Acts 28:23-24).
Two lessons stand out in this incident from Paul’s life. The first is our need to give encouragement to those who need it. When Christians go through difficult times we need to be there for them, as the Christians in Rome were for Paul, going out of their way to support him.
We also see the need to take advantage of situations in life where we can tell others about Jesus. Even as a prisoner he was able to let them know what he believed and why he believed it. May we always do the same.
Image by Tip Ro from pixabay.com. Free usage.
Jon Galloway, link to original article