7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant[a] in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our[b] circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here. 10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews[c] among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea. 17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.” 18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
As the apostle Paul concludes his short and powerful letter to the church in Colossae, he turns his broad advice and guidance into a list of personal connections.
What strikes me about this passage is the connections that Paul has. He literally lists a network of connections and understands the relationship people have with one another.
In our current age of social media, our networked connections can seem to flow and develop naturally, but Paul has clearly invested time into building his connections and he uses his influence to encourage and build those in his network even further. He sends just the right people at just the right time with a personal message from him, even though he was in chains in Rome. This was cutting edge use of technology for his day!
Lord may I use social networks, technologies and influence today to bring support and edification to those who I am connected with, however loosely! Help me to build my connections with a sense of intention and purpose.
Written by Ps Justin Ware