Wednesday August 18, 2021
God, I am here to go deeper and learn from You. Come Holy Spirit, speak to my heart and mind in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.
Greet also the church that meets at their house.
Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.
Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you.
Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.
Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord.
Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys.
Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test.
Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus.
Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew.
Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.
Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord.
Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.
Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.
Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the other brothers and sisters with them.
Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the Lord’s people who are with them.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
All the churches of Christ send greetings.
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
Let’s all confess that we usually skip past passages like this one. None of us – including the pastor – really knows how to pronounce Ampliatus, Stachys, or Phlegon.
For some the Bible is simply seen as legends passed down from previous generations which is one reason why these seemingly meaningless sections of the scripture are so important. I don’t know how to pronounce Phlegon’s name or even whether Phlegon was a woman or a man. My computer actually auto-corrected his/her name to phlegm!
What I do know is that he/she lived. She (or he?) was a real person who lived in a real place who was among the first to claim Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life. There really is a “Communion of Saints” who have gone before us “fighting the good fight” of faith. How might this reminder inspire you to live this day?
Father, help me to live this day to the full, being true to You, in every way.
Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, being kind to everyone I meet.
Spirit, help me to love the lost, proclaiming Christ in all I do and say. Amen.
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