He lived there for two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
Why does the book of Acts end here?
After the arduous journey, Paul has reached his destination Rome. The travellers, exhausted from their journeys, have been dependant on Christian hospitality. We are told by Luke, the writer of Acts, that Paul lived there for two years and welcomed all.
Now Paul could offer hospitality to others.
The Book of Acts is not about the life of Paul, but the spread of the Gospel, and that has been clearly presented. Now that the Gospel had been preached and established in many areas by Paul, it would now start to spread further by the movement of the Holy Spirit, and the new disciples who have heard the message of Jesus Christ.
The Book of Acts deals with the history of the Christian church and its expansion in ever widening circles, touching Jerusalem, Antioch and Rome, to name but a few. Acts shows the mighty miracles and testimonies of many people, Peter, Stephen, Lydia, Joanna and Pricilla, and of course Paul himself. We have read how the Holy Spirit touched the hearts and minds of Jews and Gentiles, men and women, rich and poor and the changes that happened because of the acts of many people.
Today, we are the unsung heroes in the continuing story of Acts and the spread of the Gospel.
Every act of loving kindness, every prayer we say, every word we speak, every step we take in name of Justice and Truth, proclaims the Gospel message in new ways over 2,000 years later.
Let us continue the story with the same passion and diligence, as those names written in the pages of Acts of the Apostles.
After the journey comes rest, After the rest comes hospitality,, After hospitality comes reflection after reflection comes the future.
Lord, anoint us with a passion to tell the story of Good News, of liberation and justice, of mercy and kindness, of inclusiveness and equality, and of the saving and everlasting love of Jesus Christ. Amen
The Rev’d Ruth Dillon is minister of Fleet and Hindhead URCs.