Monday 19 October 2015

Bible Book:
2 Timothy

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (v. 7)

2 Timothy 4:5-17 Monday 19 October 2015

Psalm: Psalm 145


Today the Church remembers St Luke - perhaps you've heard sunnyweather at this time of year described as 'St Luke's littlesummer'. Luke is identified as a colleague of Paul's in threeplaces: Philemon 24, Colossians 4:14, where he is also described as"the beloved physician", and here. While it is not clear what link,if any, exists between this evangelist and the author of the ThirdGospel and Acts, Church tradition has always held these namestogether in recognising just how much Luke's Gospel matters.

Today's passage speaks of a Christian facing the end of theirlife, ready to let go of all faith's struggles to receive God'spromised crown of righteousness. This lifelong endurance in faithis paralleled by the enduring support of Luke, the only one leftwith the ageing leader. Luke's Gospel too reflects these qualitiesof commitment and perseverance leading to reward. Luke 5, forexample, offers two stories highlighting these characteristics.First (Luke 5:1-11), Jesus meets some fishermen by thesea and uses a boat as a pulpit. After preaching, he enquires aboutthe success of the night's fishing. Learning that they had caughtnothing, he tells them to lower their nets one more time - and theyraise a boat-breaking catch. Then (Luke5:17-26), in town this time, four friends refuse to accept thatthey cannot carry their friend into Jesus' presence - so they lowerhim through the roof.

As we continue to reflect on this week's theme 'Fullness oflife', it's worth remembering first just how much the Luke's Gospelhas contributed to that fullness, with its stories of an inclusiveChurch where men and women alike can model God's identity. Morespecifically, we achieve fullness of life through our enduringcommitment to the vision of God's glory and to the hope of lifewith God. Those who run away when the going gets tough, like Paul'scompanions in 2 Timothy, miss out - they never know the end of thestory, nor see how everything fits into place.

To Ponder

  • Where might the phrase "I have kept the faith" connect withyour life?
  • Luke has a great reputation as a storyteller, and many of thebest-loved parables come from his Gospel. What stories might wetell today to communicate the good news of Jesus?
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