Today we celebrate the lives of Timothy, Titus, and Silas, missionaries and friends of Paul. Imagine having Paul as your mentor. Imagine that your work together is so fulfilling that you become friends. Imagine that you are one of the organizers of the early church.
In many ways, those men lived in a time as tumultuous as our own time. The Christian church of their time faced just as much chaos and confusion as our own time. Many of us look back and imagine the time period of Paul as a golden age of Christianity, but in truth, it was one of those time periods of competing directions, and it wasn't always sure which way Christianity would go. Would it stay a denomination within Judaism? Would it be persecuted out of existence? Would it continue to embrace its egalitarian beginnings? Would it be adopted and co-opted by local governments? How far-flung could the faith become and stay faithful?
We face similar questions, against a different set of canvases. It's worth pondering today, on this day that we celebrate the lives of missionaries and Church fathers, what roles we might play in the next emergence of our Christian faith.
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