16 I would like you to welcome our sister Phoebe. She serves the church in Cenchrea. 2 I ask you to receive her as one who belongs to the Lord. Receive her in the way God’s people should. Give her any help she may need from you. She has been a great help to many people, including me. 3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila. They work together with me in serving Christ Jesus. 4 They have put their lives in danger for me. I am thankful for them. So are all the non-Jewish churches. 5 Greet also the church that meets in the house of Priscilla and Aquila. Greet my dear friend Epenetus. He was the first person in Asia Minor to become a believer in Christ. 6 Greet Mary. She worked very hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives. They have been in prison with me. They are leaders among the apostles. They became believers in Christ before I did. 8 Greet Ampliatus. I love him as a brother in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus. He works together with me in serving Christ. And greet my dear friend Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles. Even though he was put to the test, he remained faithful as one who belonged to Christ. Greet those who live in the house of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet the believers who live in the house of Narcissus. 12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa. Those women work hard for the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis. She is another woman who has worked very hard for the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus. He is a choice believer in the Lord. And greet his mother. She has been like a mother to me too. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon and Hermes. Greet Patrobas, Hermas and the believers with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister. Greet Olympas and all of God’s people with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send their greetings.
Personal greetings – where Paul uses people's names and records why he is thankful to God for them are recorded here at the end of Romans. It would be easy to skim over this list of names as purely administrative, but it strikes me that this is an important record of people Paul has had the privilege of partnering in the gospel with. People who have enabled Paul to do what God has called him to do – by doing what God has called each of them to do. There is no heir-achy when you serve in the Kingdom of God. I love that the mother of Rufus (so greeted in verse 13) is greeted by Paul and commended for being 'like a mother' to him. Others are commended for: working hard, being relatives, hospitality, service and faith. All are friends and partners with Paul.
It is tempting for me to see the work of the Kingdom as so important that it belongs to the 'headline' ministers – people that God 'really' uses!
Lord, help me remember that I am part of something much bigger that what I can see. Use me in partnership with your people so that Your Kingdom comes here on earth as it is in heaven.
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn