St. Paul the Apostle closed his letter to Timothy with this greeting and benediction. What a powerful statement about the nature of the Church then. Notice how many people are named and Paul’s awareness of their conditions. Relationships mattered to church leaders even then.
I see that some were ill and others were left behind. The Church situation was not perfect and neither was it impersonal or disconnected. There is a balance in Paul’s tone between urgency of the situation and confidence that the future was in the hands of Christ. The constant thread throughout this greeting is the personal relationship the apostle had with the whole Church.
Did you also notice that the Church is on the move? Paul is one place on the way to another and several people mentioned are in other places also. God’s place is dynamic, people are on the move. There is a sense about this being normal. Perhaps this led to the teaching about moving with God wherever God sends us.
Paul greets the Church in all its places and conditions. He blesses the people and their situations. The whole Church is blest even in its separateness, and it was a blessing to others. It was brought together in the naming of the relationships and the blessing of those relationships. I am really humbled by this vulnerable and powerful picture of the Church.
We are such a collection of relationships and blessings. Our vulnerability to each other and to God has led us to the most meaningful relationships we have ever had. The relationships we make and continue making have become the connection we have with God. It is a blessing to take these relationships with us.
Steel Lake is heading to its final Sunday in its building on June 4th, 10 a.m.. We will celebrate Jeffrey Larkin’s service with us as our music leader and we will celebrate our ministry on this campus. I urge you to get the word out to our vast alumnae. They would love to attend and they need your personal invitation. The day will include a closing ceremony by the Presbytery and a delicious reception in Starkey Friendship Center.
The next week, June 11, we will begin worship at our temporary worship site at Calvary Lutheran Church, 2415 South 320th Street, Federal Way, WA 98003.
See you there!