Daily email Number 172 – from the Vicar

It is Wednesday and I am back.
We finish off our time in St Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy today by reading 2 Timothy Chapter 4 verses 9 to 22.
I think the apostle Paul is universally respected for his absolute commitment to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whether it was popular or not, and for all his efforts as the first missionary/church planter.
For some people, not me(!), he draws criticism today for his firm teaching stand on issues like the nature of the gospel and how we can be saved, or on sexual immorality, or on the role of men and women in the family and the church.
However, in these verses today we see Paul the human being, almost alone in a prison cell, deserted and let down by some who had been close to him, knowing that he is close to death, probably in a grisly way thrown to the lions. What he wants is what any of us would want, company, Timothy and Mark to come and visit (vs.9&11), and some little essentials, for him his cloak and some scrolls (v.13).  I think it is very moving.   I don’t think the NIV heading, ‘Personal Remarks’, even comes close to an appropriate description.
And yet there are signs of hope, Luke the good doctor, is with him (v.11).The fact that he wants Mark to be there is a sign of hope, because it means there has been reconciliation and restoration, because he was angry with Mark who had deserted them on their 1st missionary journey (Acts Ch.13 v.13), and refused to have him come on the 2nd (Acts Ch.15 vs.36-41) which led to a fall-out with Barnabas.And he is still amazingly preaching the gospel (v.17) to all who are around him when he is on trial.
Remember those words from Monday’s passage,’I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.’
From our extended Church address list, we remember in prayer today,- Beatrix and family- Ellie (Lynn’s daughter) and her husband Lee

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