This verse is from this Sunday’s Epistle reading and it is one of those verses that makes me stop and ponder.
When this letter to Timothy was written, Christianity was seen as a threat to the Roman Empire and rejection and suffering loomed for any Christian prepared to witness for Christ. Paul fears that Timothy will be ashamed and not tell others of his faith. This reminds us that the gospel is always one generation away from extinction. If one generation becomes ashamed of the gospel and does not risk testimony, how will the next generation know?
Despite the odds, and despite the difficulties we face in sharing our faith, the gospel is to be proclaimed beyond ourselves. We have to face outwards, not inwards with our worship, our discipleship and community life. The Trinity has been described as a community that faces not into itself, but outwards, the Triune God reaching out and drawing others into the Triune’s life. There was a book whose title resounded around the world wide church, it was called ‘Your God is Too Small’ by J.B. Phillips. Many would not have read it, but know of the title! And so we are reminded that what we are a part of is much bigger than ourselves, our service, and our church. God calls us to the big picture and has resourced us accordingly.
So let us rekindle, not quench, the gift of God that is within each of us. Let in the spirit of courage, power, love and self-discipline, for God has great plans for us in playing our part in the salvation of God’s world.
With love and peace in the Lord,