Women Friends

4 Mar

Good morning,

So often when people talk about Paul it is about his negative attitude towards women.  If we ever took time to read the last chapter of Romans we would definitely question that attitude.  I have put all the women’s names in bold.  It would seem as through Paul had no problem working with women to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

Notice that Junias is an outstanding leader and was also imprisoned for her faith.  The early translators of Paul’s letter change this to the male form of the name because they just couldn’t get their heads around a woman in leadership in the church.

I encourage you to take time to try to read the names.  They we real people who worked along side Paul to give a living witness to the power of the Divine.

16 1-2 Be sure to welcome our friend Phoebe in the way of the Master, with all the generous hospitality we Christians are famous for. I heartily endorse both her and her work. She’s a key representative of the church at Cenchrea. Help her out in whatever she asks. She deserves anything you can do for her. She’s helped many a person, including me.

3-5 Say hello to Priscilla and Aquila, who have worked hand in hand with me in serving Jesus. They once put their lives on the line for me. And I’m not the only one grateful to them. All the non-Jewish gatherings of believers also owe them plenty, to say nothing of the church that meets in their house.

Hello to my dear friend Epenetus. He was the very first follower of Jesus in the province of Asia.

Hello to Mary. What a worker she has turned out to be!

Hello to my cousins Andronicus and Junias. We once shared a jail cell. They were believers in Christ before I was. Both of them are outstanding leaders.

Hello to Ampliatus, my good friend in the family of God.

Hello to Urbanus, our companion in Christ’s work, and my good friend Stachys.

10 Hello to Apelles, a tried-and-true veteran in following Christ.

Hello to the family of Aristobulus.

11 Hello to my cousin Herodion.

Hello to those who belong to the Lord from the family of Narcissus.

12 Hello to Tryphena and Tryphosa—such diligent women in serving the Master.

Hello to Persis, a dear friend and hard worker in Christ.

13 Hello to Rufus—a good choice by the Master!—and his mother. She has also been a dear mother to me.

14 Hello to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and also to all of their families.

15 Hello to Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas—and all the followers of Jesus who live with them.

16 Holy embraces all around! All the churches of Christ send their warmest greetings!

I think the other gift of this scripture text is the realization that Paul knew he did not alone.  He knew the strength of community.   We don’t gather on Sunday morning because it is a convenient way for a pastor to give a message to a group of people.  We gather to encourage one another, to know we are not out there on our own trying to live our faith.  We have sisters and brothers in Christ, a part of the body of Christ, giving blessings and strength to one another along the Way.  I hope my writing also lends you strength for the day.

Peace,

Mary

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