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Monday, May 22, 2006

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Acts 16:11-15
Psalm 149
John 15:26—16:4

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there's no place like home

"After she and her household had been baptized, she extended us an invitation." —Acts 16:15

The Jewish people centered their lives around Temple, synagogue, and home. In 70 AD, the Temple was destroyed by the Roman army. In 85 AD, Jewish Christians were expelled from the synagogues (see Jn 16:2). Since both the Jews and Romans were persecuting the Christians, the Christians could not meet in a large public place. The home was the only possible meeting place. Christianity centered around the home.

Possibly that is why Lydia, the first convert of the western world, extended the invitation: "If you are convinced that I believe in the Lord, come and stay at my house" (Acts 16:15). In their homes, they broke bread, that is, celebrated the Eucharist, the Last Supper (Acts 2:46). Churches as we know them were not in existence till the fourth century. Homes were churches, the only churches.

Although history and persecution seemed to dictate this, church homes may have been the perfect will of God, or at least He certainly made them "work together for the good of those who love" Him (Rm 8:28). Even to the present day, church homes are places of evangelization, power, healing, and blessing. Christianity begins at home. During this Easter season, ask Jesus to raise your family from the death of modern society into the life of a "church home."

Prayer:  Jesus, may my family and home be a place of prayer, Christian community, and evangelization. In this week may someone accept You as Lord while sitting in my living room.

Promise:  "When the Paraclete comes, the Spirit of truth Who comes from the Father — and Whom I Myself will send from the Father — He will bear witness on My behalf." —Jn 15:26

Praise:  Ralph and Mary open their home weekly to serve dinner to those God sends their way.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape series Church Homes starting with audio AV 17A-1 or video V-17A.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 27, 2005

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