April 1 I Monday
“Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.” —Colossians 4:15
If we did a little Bible trivia, it is not likely many people could tell us who Nympha, Onesimus, Archippus, Tychicus, Epaphras and Aristarchus were in Scripture. These are people Paul included in personal greetings, which he concludes many of his letters with. The temptation is to quickly scan over these parts, but if we read deeper, we discover a jewel in every one.
When Paul penned his letters, mostly under house arrest or imprisoned in Rome, he was not writing for general consumption, much less with the expectation that his writings would become part of the Bible. These were personal reminiscences and greetings to his many friends in Christ, which include a remarkable breadth of people: male, female, Jew, Gentile, slave, master, rich, poor, strong, weak. All of them played significant roles, comprising a dedicated team of men and women brought together by the power of Christ and bonded by a common cause—to do the will of God.
Onesimus was a slave Paul met while imprisoned in Rome. Having become a dear and faithful brother in Christ, Paul sent him back to his owner a changed man. Archippus is described as a fellow soldier in Christ; Tychicus, a dear and faithful minister; Aristarchus, a travelling companion of Paul who was imprisoned with him in Ephesus; Epaphras, a prayer warrior and dedicated servant of Jesus Christ; and Nympha, a woman who hosted church meetings in her home. These were behind-the-scenes people, each an invaluable part of a team who worked with Paul in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In all of Paul’s missionary journeys, he faced danger on every level, but with him was a team. When he was isolated from other Christians, on the run or imprisoned, it did not stay that way long because wherever Paul went, he left new Christians in his wake and continually expanded the team. We may even see ourselves in some of these people. Whether a “Tychicus” no one has heard of but is always around, or a prayer warrior, fellow soldier, faithful minister or caregiver in Christ, we are all needed.
Every Christian is meant to be a channel for the Spirit of God, but we cannot work in isolation. Belonging to a body of believers is essential because it is through His church that God operates and gives direction of the Holy Spirit. These friends of Paul are not named in Scripture to fill space but to show us it takes a team to win the world for Christ!
Prayer: Sovereign Lord, I pray for every Christian to be an active part of Your team, so they may discover how deeply fulfilling and rewarding it is. Thank You, Lord.