February 2023
National Marriage Week is February 7-14, 2023.

Celebrate the gift of your marriage by praying together, learning something new together, a fun activity, recreate your first date or join us for a:

Marriage in Christ Happy Hour

Saturday, February 25, 2023

We are sponsoring an evening of fellowship, hors d'oeuvres, beverages (wine, beer & nonalcoholic) and a short presentation of "Praying Together as a Couple", from Bill Wacker. There will be a time for couple reflection as well.

Location: Marriage in Christ offices, 601 River Ridge Parkway, Eagan, MN
Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Cost: free will donation

Childcare is available upon request.

Please invite another couple to attend with you.

If you do not live in the Minnesota area, contact Fran to see how you can sponsor a Marriage in Christ Happy hour in your location.

To rsvp or for more information, please contact
Fran at franwillard@marriageinchrist.com or call the MIC office at 651.395.6828.
The Acts of the Apostles:
Aquilla and Pricilla
A Remarkable Couple
Early in the process of publishing this monthly bible study, a faithful reader asked me if I was going to do anything with Aquilla and Pricilla. Without giving it much thought at the time, I assured her that I probably would. As I was working on this month’s bible study on selected texts from the Acts of the Apostles, I came to Acts 18 where we meet that remarkable couple. 

I must confess that I had great difficulty reducing what I want to say about them to a paragraph or two. So, I have adapted the usual format for the bible study and in honor of National Marriage Week (February 7-14), and Valentine’s Day, I offer this set of extended meditations with Aquilla and Pricilla at their center. They were dear friends of Paul. They opened their home to him and took him into their business. They founded the church in Ephesus while waiting for Paul to return from his travels. They risked their lives for him and were friends to the end. 

Aquilla and his wife Pricilla (sometimes referred to as Prisca) are mentioned six times and always together in the New Testament - three times in Acts 18 and in the personal notes and greetings that conclude three of Paul’s letters, 1 Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16:3-5 and 2 Timothy 4:19. They were Jewish Christian exiles from Rome. Many Jews had emigrated to Rome from around the empire. Among them was Aquilla. He was from Pontus on the Black Sea in Modern Turkey. There is reason to believe that Pricilla was from a notable family in Rome. While there is no mention of their children, it is highly likely that they had a family. They were tentmakers (i.e., leatherworkers).

They were expelled from Rome when the emperor Claudius shut down the synagogue in Rome because of the continuing disturbances around the figure of “Chrestus” (probably a phonetic misspelling of “Christus”). They encountered Paul for the first time in Corinth sometime after his arrival in AD 51 (all dates are AD unless noted). When the apostle left Corinth for Ephesus in late 52, they traveled with him (Acts 18:18-19). They founded the church in Ephesus and were able to update the eloquent and learned Apollos (Acts 18:26). They risked their necks for Paul (Romans 16:3-5), probably during the silversmith riot in Ephesus and its aftermath (Acts 19:23-41). They remained his dear friends throughout their lives. In his letter to the Romans written sometime in 57 he wrote, “Greet Prisca and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus, and who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.” Romans 16:3-4.

It is far too easy to glamorize life in the ancient world. Most of our imaginings are conditioned by modern cinema that tends to make life look easier than it was. Scholars tell us that there were extraordinary levels of disorder, social dislocation, filth, disease, misery, fear and cultural chaos in the cities in which Christianity arose. There were very few “Hallmark” moments in the ancient world. Aquilla and Pricilla’s marriage was filled with the normal things we all would recognize, long hours of work, the worry that comes with raising a family and the daily struggles of life. There were also moments of extraordinary danger. In it all, they were an integral part of the life and ministry of St. Paul and the proclamation of the gospel to the ends of the earth. Their story offers a counterbalance to the overly sentimental and romanticized Hallmark version of Valentine’s Day.

I recommend that you have your Bible handy and that you pause to talk about the various passages, points of interest and where you hear the Lord. While I’ve tried to confine my comments to the usual one page, some of them have spilled over. I hope that you will get to know this remarkable couple a little better, but mostly, as I’m sure they would say, I hope that you encounter the Lord for whom they toiled so tirelessly.

I have relied on N.T. Wright’s Paul: A Biography for Paul’s time in Ephesus and his timeline of events which I have included at the end. 

Bill Wacker
Director Emeritus
Lent Meditations will be released shortly before Ash Wednesday. If you would like a copy please add your email to the Lent Meditations 2023 list by clicking on the button below.
Conversation Starters and Loving Actions for you!
How have you seen the bright light of truth?

How do you handle hardship?

What is your favorite dessert?

Recall a favorite date you had with your spouse?

How has Christ’s love for his bride the Church made visible by your love for each other?

What would you do if Christians were expelled from your town?

How do you and your spouse celebrate your marriage and the gift you are to each other?

Do you feel that your marriage is a living temple of the Holy Spirit?

Write a poem about your spouse or a favorite date and read it to your spouse.

Hide a love note for your spouse.

Wear matching socks.

Surprise your spouse by making their favorite dessert.

Mail your spouse a letter or card via USPS.

Have a no chore day and go out for the whole day.

Tell each other Valentine jokes.

  • What did the stamp say to the envelope on Valentine’s Day? I’m stuck on you!

  • What did one volcano say to the other? I lava you!

  • What did the cucumber say to the pickle? You mean a great dill to me.
Follow Marriage in Christ
Come, Holy Spirit, inspire our hearts; inspire couples to desire your presence in their life, marriage, & family. Draw them to you. May we be a vehicle to reveal you to them.