Growing outside of our walls
After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together—by trade they were tentmakers. Every sabbath he would argue in the synagogue and would try to convince Jews and Greeks.
When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with proclaiming the word, testifying to the Jews that the Messiah was Jesus. When they opposed and reviled him, in protest he shook the dust from his clothes and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Then he left the synagogue and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God; his house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the official of the synagogue, became a believer in the Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul became believers and were baptized. One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people.” He stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. ~ Acts 18:1-11
And so Paul began to stay for a while, settling down in a place at a time while the church began to grow well beyond the boundaries of Jerusalem.
The walls of Jerusalem had felt at first like the place where the church would plant itself firmly, and yet through Paul, those walls began to break down and geography was no longer a barrier.
Now Paul has gone all the way to Athens and to Corinth. The bounds of his ministry are broad and expansive now that walls aren't an issue anymore.
And more and more people begin to be involved in the work of the church: Simon, Timothy, Aquila, Pricilla, Titius Justus, and Crispus. They come from all over, with varied experiences and backgrounds.
What are the walls that contain our churches? Does ministry ever get constrained by boundaries we put in place: geographical, physical, emotional, or spiritual?
Do we try to keep God inside OUR walls?
Expansive God, help me to see the width, and depth, and breadth of your love for the world ,and help me to be engaged in ministry that is not contained by any boundaries that myself or others may put up. Amen