Tuesday, July 4, 2017
The Last Verses
When reading some of the letters written to the early church by the Apostle Paul, there is always that moment of coming to the end. It is the place where it seems that all the meat of the letter is on the table and all that is left are a few polite words, greetings, and personal notes. When I come to those last verses of the letter, I usually turn up the speed on my reading because everything of value has already been read. These last words are just personal words that have little bearing on how I am seeking to live out my journey of faith.
Just look at the last section, the final thirteen verses of II Timothy. Demas, a deserter is mentioned. Then Paul writes a word about Crescens, saying he has gone to Galatia. In a like manner, Titus has gone to Dalmatia. Luke is still with Paul. As the Apostle writes to Timothy, he encourages him to come and to bring Mark. Another who was with Paul was Tychicus who was sent to Ephesus. There really seems to be nothing here to cause us to read slowly and ponder what the inspired Word of God is saying to us. There is nothing here but a listing of names, mostly obscure names.
But, then to look more closely is to realize that the Apostle Paul lived out his life and shared his faith journey with men who were a lot like him. What he did, he did not do alone. He lived within a fellowship of men who shared faith in Christ. These were men with whom Paul talked, prayed, and shared the daily portions of living. Many times we try to do alone what was not meant to be done alone. This life of faith was never intended to be a solitary experience. We need one another. Too often we learn this truth too late allowing years of spiritual possibilities to die on the vine. Even Jesus called twelve to walk intimately with Him. It is not too late for us to invite others to share our own journey of faith.