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 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.
The Apostle Paul concludes his letter to the church with a series of personal greetings. Two names stand out to me – Mark and Barnabas. Much earlier, in the book of Acts, we read of a falling out that Paul had with both Barnabas and Mark.
It’s encouraging to see that God’s grace had obviously worked on Paul to accept those who had previously offended him. Although reconciliation is not always possible in every situation, it is in the heart of God to restore broken relationships.
Today, I am encouraged to reflect on strained relationships. Every one of us is imperfect, and inevitably can cause pain to others by our actions. Is there someone that I have offended, who I could reach out to with humility? Is there someone who has offended me that I should be willing to extend forgiveness to?
Thank you God, for your great love and forgiveness for us even when we offend you. May we walk in this same spirit towards others.
Written by Shelley Witt