Friday – Philemon 1:23-25
Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
The final greetings are so important here because after Paul makes a major request of Philemon, to take back in a thief, he closes with greetings from others, who are also with him, and who have also suffered for the gospel. He sends greetings from Epaphras, Mark, Luke, Demas and Aristarchus. All these men had suffered along with Paul in cities and in for the gospel’s sake.
Sometimes, it can feel like you’re.. in this alone. Especially if you aren’t plugged into a healthy church community. It can easily feel like you’re facing the world by yourself and that can lead to depression and feeling defeated.
When we plug in with other believers who are trying to follow and submit to Jesus, we have people around, who also are suffering, but also to be a place of strength. They can be a place of strength and comfort. They can be a place of peace and solidarity. When our faith moves us into something we’re uncomfortable with, it’s then that we need community and people around to love and comfort us.
This is why we do community groups here at Origins. We want you to have a place where you can be together with other believers and share life. That they can find joy in your faith, and you in theirs. So that they can be your strength in times of adversity and so that you can be theirs.
“Don’t neglect the gathering”, Paul says in another letter. Because it is in the greetings and unity of other believers that we find our strength.