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We travel easily nowadays; we call the agents, plan ahead, book online, happily piling up our frequent flyer points. But how did Paul manage his constant travels? Would you have liked to be his travel agent?
Acts is a travelogue, and this chapter, which is our lead-in to our section on 1 Thessalonians, sees Paul collecting more frequent walker points from Athens to Corinth where he plies his trade with new friends and follows his vocation as a preacher and persuader before moving on to Syria.
His tentmaking was probably easy enough but the preaching bit met conflict, harassment and insult. So what a fabulous gift of encouragement came from the arrival of Silas and Timothy from Macedonia (which includes Thessalonica). How much we all value colleagues in ministry, and their good news.
Paul preaches on, responsive to God’s encouragement (“Don’t be afraid”) and command (“Go on speaking”). And in his spare time, he writes a letter to the church in Thessalonica.
I’ve just mailed a letter and it will be on a plane tomorrow. But Paul’s is carried by hand to Thessalonica. And that’s where we are going for the next ten days.
We live in a fast-paced mobile world. We are always on the move: by our own choices or not. Because of school, university, work, relationships. Remember: God is with us, and overall there is the goodness and purpose of God. Time and space are in his hands: so are we.
Hear the Lord’s words: “I have many in this city who are my people”. You meet them everywhere, round the next corner, in the next city, in the next job. We’re promised the surprise of a global fellowship, an overground community, a spiritual rush hour, all the other believers travelling on the Christian Expedia.com.
Lord God, you are the still point of my turning world. As all things change around me; as friends and family move to new worlds; as I wonder myself about where to go next and what to do next, grant me a profound sense of stillness – in you.