Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings. Romans 16:16
In his hall-of-fame career as a sportswriter, Dave Kindred covered hundreds of major sporting events and championships and wrote a biography of Muhammad Ali. Growing bored in retirement, he started attending girls’ basketball games at a local school. Soon he began writing stories about each game and posting them online. And when Dave’s mother and grandson died and his wife suffered a debilitating stroke, he realized the team he’d been covering provided him with a sense of community and purpose. He needed them as much as they needed him. Kindred said, “This team saved me. My life had turned dark . . . [and] they were light.”
How does a legendary journalist come to depend on a community of teenagers? The same way a legendary apostle leaned on the fellowship of those he met on his missionary journeys. Did you notice all the people Paul greeted as he closed his letter? (Romans 16:3–15). “Greet Andronicus and Junia,” he wrote, “my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me” (v. 7). “Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord” (v. 8). He mentions more than twenty-five people in all, most of whom are not mentioned in Scripture again. But Paul needed them.
Who’s in your community? The best place to begin is with your local church. Anyone there whose life has turned dark? As God leads, you can be a light that points them to Jesus. Someday they may return the favor.
Who are the people you know you can count on? Ask God to give you that kind of friend. How can you be a friend like that?
Father, what a friend I have in Jesus! May I be that kind of friend to others.
For further study, read Who’s My Neighbor?
Paul understood that the strength and effectiveness of his ministry was the result of the efforts of many coworkers who partnered with and supported him. Concluding his letter to the Romans (ch. 16), Paul specifically named a number of individuals who’d tirelessly ministered with and to him. That many were women attests to the significant role they played in the early church. Paul showed his appreciation for more than eighty coworkers (see Colossians 4:7–18; 2 Timothy 1:15–18; Titus 3:12–14), which gives us a window into his pastoral heart.