Romans 15-16

Read Romans 15-16.

[5] May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, [6] that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. [7] Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Romans 15:5-7, ESV

As Paul concludes his letter to the Romans, he points them again to the way of Christ who bore reproach for the sake of others. He calls them to the kind of harmony that comes from each one putting the needs of others before their own, and he closes by offering a long list of those with whom he has found such harmony: Phoebe, Prisca, Aquila, Epaenetus, Mary, Andronicus, Junia, Ampliatus, Urbanus, Stachys, Apelles, the family of Aristobulus, Herodion, the family of Narcissus, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, Persis, Rufus and his mother, Asyncritus, Plegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, Philologus, Julia, Nereus, and Olympas.

Paul’s commendation of these brothers and sisters who had become such an important part of his life gets me thinking. Who is my Phoebe? Who is my Prisca and Aquila? Who is your Epaenetus? If you were to spend some time today or at some point this week commending those who have had a profound impact on your walk with Christ, those with whom you have lived in harmony in Christ, what are the names you would list? Whether mentally or on paper, perhaps it would be worth our time to prepare such a list and thank God for the way our welcoming one another points us to the way God has welcomed us in Christ.

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