Bible Reading: Philemon 8-11
Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
Thought for Reflection: Philemon had a slave called Onesimus, who it transpires has run away and ended up with Paul. It sounds as if he wasn’t a particularly good slave; Onesimus means ‘useful’, but reading what Paul has to say about him here and later suggests this was a somewhat sarcastic nickname. But whilst with Paul, Onesimus has responded to the good news of Jesus and has become a Christian. This has literally transformed him – he now truly is Useful! Something similar has and is happening in our lives and in the lives of all who respond to Jesus – as we do so the Spirit begins his work of renewing us from within, making us useful for God and his work in this world.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus for your work of transformation in our lives. Help us to be alert to what you’re doing in us and those around us.
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