Thirty-seven years ago, the Lord saved me as I was reading a Gideon Bible in a Minneapolis hotel room. I had no idea at the time of the great adventure the Lord would take me on for the past 37 years. The journey took me from Chicago, to Savannah Georgia, to Portsmouth New Hampshire, and now to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This adventure included major changes in my life, a move from engineering and management to the pastoral ministry. But, one of the most wonderful parts of this adventure was and continues to be the people I have been blessed to meet in the church.
As I reminisce, I think of some of the best friends I have ever had. Some of whom I still contact on occasion. I’ll never forget some of the people from the first church I ever joined in Bartlett Illinois. I remember many of those I met in the churches we were part of in Savannah. After being called to the pastorate, I remember many parishioners in the churches I pastored and still have contact with many of them on Facebook.
Granted, I remember those that stand out for a variety of reasons. Some because of their service to the Lord, others because of the influence they had in my life and still others because of the meaningful friendships we developed. It would be great if I could have remembered every believer I ever met by name, but it doesn’t seem to work that way. However, I think if I were to write a letter to some of these churches, and I knew these people were still there, I probably like Paul would make sure that the recipient of the letter would extend my regards to those special people.
God does give us some special relationships in Christendom. Paul in this letter asks the recipients to greet the special people in his life that were in Rome. He mentions them by name and indicates why they are of note. When you look at the list of names, some are only mentioned once in the Bible. We know very little about them. Yet each and every one has played an important role in the Kingdom and in Paul’s life.
Perhaps we should all reminisce once in a while, thinking about the blessings of the people that the Lord has put into our lives. It would be nice to connect with them. However, in most cases it may not be possible. In any case, we should give thanks to the Lord for the blessing of those special people He has placed in our lives. Each of them had a great part in His sovereign plan for us.
In the next couple posts, I will look at some of these special people in Paul’s life.