Saturday, May 27, 2017
Paul was not afraid to face anything on his own: angry crowds, highscale ruler, physical torment. But he much prefered working with a team, a band of brothers and sisters. God provided many qualified, quality people for him to team with. Epaphroditus was one of them. He was known as a man who cared about people, and was more concerned about them than himself, when he realized they were worried about his sickness. One of the terms Paul uses for him is fellow soldier. This describes his commitment and his courage. But soldiers are people too. They wear many hats: messenger, servant, brother, worker. We need to treat them as such. Sometimes they take the uniform off, and have many other responsibilities. May we pray for the challenges they face in uniform and out.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Context is important. Jesus used one of his regular themes in this parable: stewardship. These servants were entrusted by the master with investments, and were rewarded, or punished, according to what they did. The third servant did nothing but hide it. He treated it as if it was his own, not the master's. In context here, Jesus had just come into the life of Zacchaeus, who responded in faith, receiving salvation, as evidenced in his changed life - giving back freely. The account following this parable is the Triumphal Entry, where Jesus presents himself formally to His people: Will they receive Him as King, Lord, and rightful owner of Salvation? Salvation is the key theme uniting all three. Jesus came to offer it, entrusting the message of salvation to his people. He does not want us to hoard it. He wants us to invest it, to give it to others, to see it grow. If we do not, we are wicked stewards.