Welcome to Friday, and also a welcome to George & Pat, who have recently started attending our Zoom services, and now have joined our daily email congregation.
We start something new today, looking at St Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy. Sue & I heard a very inspiring talk from the last chapter of the letter recently, and it made me think that it would be worth looking at the whole letter. It is a letter about being faithful under pressure, when things are difficult.
Both Paul and Timothy are under pressure. Paul is in prison again, now in much more harsh conditions than his house arrest at the end of the book of Acts, and is almost certainly nearing the end of his life, and he is missing Timothy his protege. Timothy himself isn’t finding leading a local church easy, partly because of his own more gentle and timid nature.
So a short passage to begin with, Chapter 1 verses 1 to 7.
Note Paul’s lovely description of Timothy in v.2, ‘my dear son’. Paul was his spiritual father, who cared for him deeply and prayed for him regularly (v.3), and for whom Timothy had great affection (v.4).
Note too how Timothy’s family had been instrumental in sharing faith down the generations, grandmother and mother and now him (v.5).
The statistics today tell us how a vast majority of people come to faith under the age of 18, which reminds us how important family still is in faith-sharing.
And we know personally this isn’t easy, and there are no guarantees here.
And finally Paul reminds Timothy that he has God’s Holy Spirit with him (vs.6-7), symbolically given through the laying on of hands, but in reality for all who put their faith in Christ, including us, God’s Holy Spirit comes and lives inside, to help us be courageous, loving and live holy lives. That would be a good thing for us to remember today for ourselves, and to believe it and to live it out.
We particularly remember in our prayers today,
– Lynn and Paul
– Jason, Corette, Pieter and Zarah