This week, living under quarantine in Italy, we had a meeting with our leader’s team over Skype. We read the book of Philemon where the Apostle Paul sends a letter to Philemon, asking him to welcome back Onesimus as a brother in Christ.
It is a great story of Paul’s attempt to reconcile these two men, although the reason that we read the story was to highlight for the men that are leading the discipleship work here that Paul did this while he was in prison.
In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul told them to imitate him as he imitated Christ, so I asked the guys to think about what we can learn from Paul and how we can imitate him. Paul was doing this work from prison, and while we are not exactly in prison, we are quarantined in our homes here in Italy.
Here were six things that the team pulled out of the passage that we can learn from Paul:
- We can be of use to others in any situation.
- We should strive for unity, standing up for unity amongst our brothers in Christ.
- We should be bold, as Paul was boldly stepping into this situation between Philemon and Onesimus, yet do all of these things in love.
- We see that Paul was evangelizing and seeing people come to Christ, even while in prison.
- He is bringing people together, discipling them, and encouraging them, even while he himself is in prison.
- Paul knows that he has spiritual authority, and suggests it, but he is gentle in his approach, knowing that he is entering a very difficult and challenging situation.
At the end of the meeting, we each made a commitment to take action from one of these points…something that we can do this week in view of following Paul’s example. How can we continue to make disciples, even while under quarantine?