Camping Through Colossians Day 6 (Final Day)
Day 6 with Campers
Pray: “Oh Lord Jesus, you are both supreme over and sufficient for all things. We worship you today. We are so grateful for you, our King and Savior. You are worthy of all praise and honor. We commit this final day to you. Help us to walk through it according to your will and power and glory. Have your way in us, in this camp, in our campers today. All so that your name may be known in our midst. Amen.”
Read: Colossians 4:7-18
7 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servantin the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 9 and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothersat Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
Read and Respond:
These closing sentences and greetings of Paul’s letter read like an epilogue in a movie, giving us a glimpse of the future of many characters in the story.
There’s Tychicus, a dear brother, a faithful minister, and fellow servantin the Lord and Onesimus, a faithful and dear brother (v 7-9).
Aristarchus (Paul’s fellow prisoner), Mark (the cousin of Barnabas), and Jesus (who is called Justus), are the only Jews among Paul’s co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they proved to be a comfort to him. What a gift the body of Christ is, especially amongst people groups with very few followers of Christ.
Epaphras, a servant of Christ Jesus, who we met in Colossians 1:7, sends his greetings, always struggles in prayer for the new believers, and works hard for the church.
Luke, who is a beloved physician, was likely discipled by Paul, wrote both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, and was later martyred for his faith, sends greetings.
And then there’s Demas. According to verse 4:14 and Philemon 1:24, Demas had served as a “fellow worker” in the gospel with Paul. Sadly, we learn in 2 Timothy 4:10, “Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me (Paul) and gone to Thessalonica.”
We know the church at Laodicea eventually earned the reputation of being lukewarm (Revelation 3:15-16).
We don’t know much about Nympha, except that she hosted church in her home. And not much about Archippus, except he had a ministry in the Lord that Paul urged him to fulfill.
This week of ministry has allowed you to walk in the footsteps of these saints. You also have had an opportunity to be a dear brother or sister, a faithful minister, and a fellow servant, along with others on your team and those who are long-term workers in your context. What a joy to be called and equipped to serve in a faith family that has stretched across 2,000 years and all around the globe.
How might you persist in being a dear brother or sister, faithful minister, and fellow servant to your team and to the long-term workers in your midst? Those who will continue ministering to the campers in spiritually dark contexts have a high, holy, and hard calling. How can you encourage them in the days to come? How can you continue to partner with them and one another for the sake of the gospel after this week is over?
Brainstorm at least five ideas and action points right now.
Are there Christians in your midst who are the vast minority? Any who are persecuted for their faith? Any imprisoned? How might you remain mindful of persecuted and minority Christians when you leave camp?
Pray:Ask the Lord to help you stay committed to the spread of the gospel amongst these campers when you are no longer with them. Ask for creativity and perseverance to stay connected to the work that’s not right in front of your eyes. Write down the names of those you forged relationships with. Stick them in your Bible and pray for them as often as you remember them. Remember those who are in chains for their faith. Pray for them. As Paul opened this letter with grace, so he closes it with grace.
Praise God for his grace.