Bible Reading: Philemon 12-16

I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favour you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.

Thought for Reflection: Society today has a habit of converting individuals into statistics or labels – hence the protest of the Prisoner in the cult tv series: ‘I am not a number, I am a free man!’ This is dehumanising, but something we all do. In God’s Kingdom the reverse process occurs, here Onesimus is described as being formerly a slave, but now as a dear brother, a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.

Prayer: Thank you Lord that you see me as an individual, not just one amongst the masses. Help me to see and treat others in the same way.

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