I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
The ministry of the church depends on those who have been sent, people set apart to share a message of hope or to bring the presence of God to others. In fact, the whole story of God’s interaction with his people flows through those who have been sent. God sent Abraham to a new land. God sent prophets to speak to his people. God sent Jesus to be our Savior. The Biblical word for angel actually means messenger, one sent with a message from God. In the New Testament, an apostle is one who has been sent. In the church age, we send missionaries to spread the good news. Even within a local congregation, we set apart and send people to care for one another, to preach the word, and to serve in various ways.
Paul, under house arrest in Rome, hoped to send Timothy, his son in the faith, to encourage the Philippian church. Timothy would carry Paul’s greetings and instructions for church life. On Paul’s behalf (really, on behalf of Jesus), he would “show genuine concern for your welfare.” Timothy would go where Paul couldn’t.
Right now, most of our sending has to be done in the form of email, phone calls, online video or old-fashion letters through the mail. It’s hard not to be able to send or be sent in person. Like Paul, we hope for a time when we will be set free again to meet one another face-to-face. Until then, we send our greetings and love as best we can through other means, and we remember that even from a distance, God sends his people to share the love and message of Jesus with people in need.
Thank You, Lord, for sending me Your love and the good news of Jesus. Help me to share the hope I have with others. Send Your church with words and actions of love, and send me to do the work You have gifted me to do, for Your glory and in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian