每日诗歌: Be still my soul (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwkPsKe-39Y)
Psalm 109 [Read]
Psalm 110 [Read]
Psalm 111 [Read]
Romans 16 [Read]
The ending of Romans is special. It contains Paul’s greeting to 28 individuals (Rom 16:1-16), more than any other letters in the NT. In addition, his greeting also carries goodwill from 8 other individuals who presumably were with him at the time (16:21-24). From such unique arrangement, I notice the following.
First, Paul intentionally associated almost everyone in the list with either “in Christ” or “in the Lord”. Even though he had never been to Rome and might not have met all of them, Paul saw those saints to be his dear brothers and sisters in Christ. As long as we are followers of Christ, we become closely connected through the glorious promise of “in Him”. We are all parts of the same body.
Secondly, the list includes both names for Jews and for Gentiles, meaning a breakthrough of ethnic boundary for people who are in the Lord. This reaffirms what happened in the first Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection (Acts 2), and God’s will in the reversal of the Tower of Babel (Gen 11) is clearly shown to all his people. What man cannot achieve, God accomplishes it with his Spirit.
Thirdly, it includes both men and women, meaning they were all equally important in Paul’s eyes. This is especially helpful in clearing the misunderstanding stems from other writings of Paul. Although man and woman still play different roles in God’s eternal plan of salvation, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).
Finally, Paul mentioned about people risking lives for him (Rom 16:4), being in prison with him (16:7), and working hard in the Lord (16:6, 12). It’s clear that being followers of Christ was not meant to be an easy thing, and the mutual support and hard work among Christians are not only common practices, but are also highlighted and encouraged.
It is inspiring for Paul to end his greatest theological manifesto with such personal greetings to others in Christ. It accentuates the fact that we don’t follow Christ just for our own benefits, granted it’s important, but more importantly we become parts of a body that is filled with compassion to God and to one another. All the great theological truth needs to come down to the personal level of sincere concerns for others in Christ, and only through such compassion the body of Christ can grow in truth and in grace.
Keep on reading, you have finished the 24th book.