What Does It Take to Be Valuable to God's Work?
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. - Romans 16:1-2, ESV
Are there holders and long-snappers in the church? Absolutely! The church is full of people who aren't celebrated or remembered by anyone, except the Lord! The reality is that football teams need faithful holders and long-snappers, players who know their role and who do it well, consistently.
The last chapter of Romans is full of people most of us could not name off the top of our heads. They are celebrated and remembered by Paul and by the Lord, though, because they were faithful:
- Phoebe is called "our sister" and "a servant of the church" who "has been a patron of many."
- Prisca and Aquila, who are better know, are called "my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life." Paul says, "to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well.
- Epaenetus is known for being "the first convert to Christ in Asia."
- Mary is commended because she "worked hard for you."
- Ampliatus is called "my beloved in the Lord."
- Urbanus is "our fellow worker in Christ"
- Stachys is "beloved."
- Apelles is "approved in Christ."
- Persis "has worked hard in the Lord."
- Rufus is "chosen in the Lord" and his mother "has been a mother to me as well."
Together, God uses all of us to exalt the name of Jesus, build up His people and advance His kingdom on earth. We are all part of His team, and no one is unimportant.