Read Romans 16:1–16
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.
5 Greet also the church that meets at their house.
Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.
6 Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you.
7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.
8 Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord.
9 Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys.
10 Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test.
Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus.
11 Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew.
Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.
12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord.
Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.
13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.
14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the other brothers and sisters with them.
15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the Lord’s people who are with them.
16 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
All the churches of Christ send greetings.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink of a time when you were the “new” person.
It can be tempting to skip past the long lists of names in the Bible, but if we believe what Paul said in another of his letters, that all Scripture is useful (2 Tim. 3:16), then we ought to pay attention to what we can learn.
The thing that strikes me most strongly is that this great theologian with a worldwide ministry was also personal. He took the time to get to know people and made a point of remembering them and greeting them in his letters.
If Paul could find the time to be personal and get to know his fellow worshippers, we should be able to, too. This coming Sunday, could you make a point of talking to someone you’ve never met before?
Find someone who looks lonely or is there for the first time. It may not be culturally appropriate to greet them with a holy kiss, but a friendly hello and a conversation where you genuinely listen to them could be even better. (And try to remember their name for when you see them next week!)
It’s wonderful to be known isn’t it? Is there someone you could send a quick note to today just to say you love them?