Today we are reading from 2 Timothy 1:1-5:
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my beloved child:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.
Paul again has a deeply personal letter to Timothy, and I think the way that he begins it is so interesting. Paul begins this letter by looking past. Paul looks to his past with Timothy. He remembers the tears that Timothy has shed.
Paul looks to his past, he worships God, just as his ancestors have done.
Paul tells Timothy, to be faithful just as he was taught by his mother.
Paul begins this letter with a call to remember those who have gone before us. I think this is an important and significant thing. I think today, with everything being so immediate and focused on this moment, what we are going through, what is happening to us, in our midst, our challenges, our worries, our struggles, our stuff, we can forget.
We are not the first folks to ever walk this path. We are not the first to struggle, or worry, or be afraid, or feel challenged. We are not the first to be tested. We are not the first to cry. There are others who have gone before us, who have faced what we have faced. Who have struggled as we have? And they have found a way, through God’s grace, to be faithful.
Remember that today. That is Paul’s call to Timothy and to us today. Remember your parents, your grandparents, your teachers, your preachers, those who have gone before with challenges, and remained faithful.
As God was faithful to them, He will be faithful to you. You and I, we are not (praise God!) the first to walk this path. Be faithful. Look to Jesus. As He took care of them, He will take care of you!
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