“Word for Today” – Acts 18 – www.concordialutheranchurch.com

October 14, 2009 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

Batman & RobinEvery Batman needs a Robin – a faithful, loyal, trustworthy sidekick to help you in a pinch.  And everyone loves a Robin.  We even have a pet name for him.  “Boy Wonder,” we call him.  Yes, every Batman needs a Robin.  And everyone loves a Robin, that is, unless you are a Robin.  Because then, your work as a sidekick can sometimes prove to be dreggy, belittling, and underappreciated.  Batman gets all the adulation and accolades.  You get the red tights.  What kind of a life is that?

Most of the time, we can tell who is the leader and who is the sidekick simply by the order in which their names are listed:  Batman and Robin, Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon, Pat Sajak and Vanna White, Dr. Evil and Mini Me.  The one who gets top billing is the top dawg, the alpha male, and the big man on campus.

In our reading for today from Acts 18, Paul meets a husband and wife ministry team during his stay in Corinth:  “There Paul met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome” (verse 2).  Apparently, these two became very close friends of Paul, even risking their lives for him.  They were also very well known among many churches, indicating that they travelled extensively.  Furthermore, they hosted a church at their house, suggesting that they were quite wealthy and had the necessary spacious accommodations required for a worshipping community (cf. Romans 16:3-5).  Aquila and Priscilla – missionaries extraordinaire in Corinth and beyond.  Or is that Priscilla and Aquila?  “Paul stayed at Corinth for some time.  Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanies by Priscilla and Aquila” (verse 18).  In verse 2, it’s Aquila and Priscilla.  By verse 18, it becomes Priscilla and Aquila.

So which one is it?  Aquila and Priscilla or Priscilla and Aquila?  Who’s the king of the mountain, the leader of the pack, and at the top of the heap?  Who’s Batman and who’s Robin?  Neither!  For life in the Kingdom does not work according to billings.  As Jesus himself teaches:  “Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last” (Luke 13:30).  It’s important to understand that Jesus does not just reverse the order on some divine marquis to spite those who were once on top, it’s that Jesus gets rid of the marquis altogether.  First is last and last is first.  In other words, these two terms become interchangeable and are indeed interchanged.  Aquila and Priscilla becomes Priscilla and Aquila, not because one overtakes the other in some heavenly hierarchy, but because it no longer matters who is first and who is last.  For both are servants of the Most High God.  And that’s what matters.

Are you a leader or a sidekick?  Is your name listed first or second?  Today, give thanks to God that the position of your name in a lineup is not indicative of the value of your soul in God’s sight.  And so, if you feel a little dreggy, belittled, and underappreciated, remember that, with a loving heart, your heavenly Father lists your name first on his lineup – and last, for that matter.  For your position does not matter.  What matters is that you are God’s precious child.

Entry filed under: Word for Today.

“Word for Today” – Acts 17 – www.concordialutheranchurch.com “Word for Today” – Acts 19 – www.concordialutheranchurch.com

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