+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening – A Collect for the Renewal of Life (Monday)
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Reading -Colossians 4:10-18 (NLT)
Paul’s Final Instructions and Greetings (Cont.)
Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you his greetings, and so does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin. As you were instructed before, make Mark welcome if he comes your way. Jesus (the one we call Justus) also sends his greetings. These are the only Jewish believers among my co-workers; they are working with me here for the Kingdom of God. And what a comfort they have been!
Epaphras, a member of your own fellowship and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident that you are following the whole will of God. I can assure you that he prays hard for you and also for the believers in Laodicea and Hierapolis.
Luke, the beloved doctor, sends his greetings, and so does Demas. Please give my greetings to our brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house.
After you have read this letter, pass it on to the church at Laodicea so they can read it, too. And you should read the letter I wrote to them.
And say to Archippus, “Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.”
HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL.
Remember my chains.
May God’s grace be with you.
Paul’s faithful friends
“Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.”
– Colossians 4:17 –
In closing his letter to the Colossians, Paul commended eight people for their friendship and work in advancing the Kingdom of God. All except one remained a faithful friend.
- Aristarchus – who traveled extensively with Paul and accompanied him to prison in Rome.
- John Mark – who failed in his first attempts to serve Paul and God, but returned to prove himself faithful to both.
- Justus – who, as a Jewish believer, lived out the reality that Jews and Gentiles were one in Christ.
- Epaphras – who was fervent in prayer for the well being and spiritual growth of the Colossians.
- Luke – who helped Paul physically (a physician) and spiritually (writing the third Gospel and Acts.)
- Demas – who would later desert Paul, preferring to love the things of this world more than Christ.
- Nympha – who opened her home to host a house-church.
- Archippus – who Paul encouraged to continue the particular ministry God had given him.
Paul concluded with a word of blessing – May God’s grace be with you.
Questions for consideration:
- Can you think of someone who has been a faithful friend to you over the years? Please explain.
- Can you think of someone whom you have befriended in good and bad times? Please explain.
- Can you think of believers who are in need of your prayers? Do you pray for them? Please explain.
- There are a variety of ministries mentioned above, and many more not mentioned. What ministry has God given you to complete? Please explain.
Morning Prayer: for our local congregations
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear our prayers, and grant that in our congregations the pure Word of God may be preached and the Sacraments duly administered. Strengthen and confirm the faithful; protect and guide the children; visit and relieve the sick; turn and soften the wicked; arouse the careless; recover the fallen; restore the penitent; remove all hindrances to the advancement of your truth; and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church, to the honor and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“I Will Stand With You” – Rick Muchow
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen