A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Identity and Inheritance: Reflections on Colossians #4 (Final Post)

Naming the Faithful

In their final greetings, Paul and Timothy single out particular individuals for mention:

"Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here."

"My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house" (4:7-15).

I have been a pastor for twenty-three years. In that time I have had the great privilege of getting to know many faithful saints in five different congregations. Some of them have passed on to the Church Triumphant; many are still serving in the Church Militant. Many names I remember to this day, others have faded from my memory.

I am sure that the faithful saints Paul mentions in his letter had no idea that their names would echo through the centuries as this now sacred letter is read corporately and individually. The names of many others who worked in their company have been lost to history; yet they are known to God, and that is what counts.

How important it is that we name the faithful in our lives, those whose life and witness have made an indelible mark on our life and witness. Paul could not have been who he was and could not have accomplished what he did apart from Aristarchus, Barnabas, Mark, Tychicus, Onesimus and the many whose names are no longer. In like manner, our character and our behavior is intrinsically connected to those we can name in our hearts before God. We are less without them and more because of them.

Thanks be to God!


Ted M. Gossard said...

Allan, This not only causes me to reflect and remember certain ones who were weighty in their witness to me, real blessings! But is also challenges me, and gives me pause to look at my life. Am I becoming like one of those I now remember? God, let it be so!


Allan R. Bevere said...


Good thoughts. I have no doubt that you are the person God wants you to become.