Friday, February 14, 2020
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. 5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convertto Christ in Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles,and they were in Christ before me.
This is but a portion of the list of people Paul wants to be remembered to among the believers in Rome. They are fellow workers who risked their lives, a believer who was first to make a decision of faith. They have worked hard, are in prison, or preceded Paul in faith. But the list goes on. They are beloved in the Lord, approved in Christ, a family in faith, as a mother or other kinsman. The relationships are close and the network is large.
On this Valentine’s Day, remember one who is special to you, but remember also those who are part of your network of relationships. Remember those who have preceded you in faith and helped you become who you are. Think of those who are going through hardship (as Paul did for those in prison), and those who have become like family to you over the years. They are beloved in the Lord, and people who mean a lot to you too.
Some people have only recently entered your life, and some people you have known a long time. Each is important, no matter how long is the relationship. Paul took the time to acknowledge each person’s unique contribution to Christ in ministry, whether in hosting a church community at their home or working hard for the Lord. Paul wanted to remember each of them, because he loved them as brothers and sisters in faith.
Praise God for whomever is part of your larger network in faith, and find a moment as you can to thank them for being part of your life. As you remember how much they mean to you, so you will seek new opportunities to be with them in the future, and further strengthen these relationships. Praise God for all the people you love.
God of love, thank you for each person I care about – in my family, in my church family, among my neighbors and co-workers, and those I don’t get to see on a regular basis but who are also dear to me. I get busy but I don’t want to forget them or neglect to tell them how much they mean to me. Help me keep the channels open – among relationships I already treasure, as well as someone new whom I do not yet know. Help me love others like Jesus did. Amen.