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  • East Martin CRC

Celebrating with Friends

Acts 20:1-6

Verse 6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.

This part of the story about Paul in Philippi is during his last visit with them while on his third missionary journey. Paul and his fellow travelers had likely made a short visit through on their way to Corinth after leaving Ephesus. But during this last visit, as he is trying to escape those who are trying to kill him, Paul finds a bit of respite. Being among people that brought him joy was a wonderful way to celebrate his final Passover as a free man.

These were people who held a special place in his heart. They were his first friends in Europe. Fellow believers that he had come to know and cherish. The fact that he stayed there for the Passover celebration was significant because it showed the spiritual relationship he had with them.

Passover was a revered holiday on the Jewish calendar and even more so for the early church. No longer was the Passover at the time of the exodus the main reason to celebrate. Jesus coming as the ultimate Passover Lamb now had deeper meaning to those who knew Him to be the Messiah. This was no longer just a celebration of God’s people being released from their slavery in Egypt, it now included what the first Passover foreshadowed – the Passover of Jesus freeing His people from the slavery of sin.

Paul had truly grasped the significance of Passover. He knew the connection between the first Passover and the Passover of Jesus. He saw how God called His people out of the foreign land to worship Him through following the law and then sent His Son to call His people from the foreign thinking of obeying the law without living it. It was this understanding of Jesus and His ministry that permeated Paul’s mission trips and letters.

Paul had come to know Jesus in such a personal way that he wanted everyone he came in contact with to know Christ too. While most of Paul’s letters were addressing the issues in the Church receiving the letter, Paul’s letter to the Philippians was one of pure joy and love. What a blessing it must have been for Paul to celebrate with these people so dear to his heart.

Making It Personal

Who are the people in your life that you enjoy celebrating with? Do you celebrate Jesus being the perfect sacrifice with these dear people? Do you feel a responsibility of showing others the truth of who Jesus is?

Making It Personal Kids

Do you have people that you like to celebrate the holidays with? Do your holiday celebrations include Jesus? Who can you share the truth about Jesus with?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for calling us to celebrate with You. Give us a greater desire to share these celebrations with those we love and to share the truth of our celebrations with those who don’t yet know You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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