June 10, 2021
To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 2 Tim 1:2-4
There is such tenderness in these opening lines of Paul’s last letter to Timothy as Paul awaits execution. Through the years, Paul invested heavily in Timothy’s spiritual and emotional growth during their time together. Here, apart, he continues his support of Timothy through vigilant, heartfelt prayer as his spiritual father. Luke tells us that Timothy’s biological father was a Greek (Acts 16:3), and verse 5 of this passage implies that Timothy’s father was not involved in his spiritual formation (his faith was passed on through his grandmother and mother).
The takeaway? We all need a Paul: spiritual fathers and mothers who are committed to helping us grow in our faith.
Father God, thank you for the spiritual caregivers that have impacted our lives. Grant us guidance, strength, and joy to reach out to the Timothy’s of this world and be a Paul to them. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling