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Archive for September 6th, 2019

Philemon 1-2; 23

Sunday’s Epistle Reading is the entire Epistle to Philemon from the Apostle Paul: one whole chapter! Yet, there is much to learn and grow in reading this entire epistle. I pray my fragment of a commentary is salutary for your walk with the Lord.

Concordia and Koinonia

Verses 1 and 2:  Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,        To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:

Verse 23:  Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.

Notice how many fellow workers and brothers Paul names in this very short letter:  nine.  He also gives greetings to, “…the Church in your house”, which would mean even more!  As I earlier stated, notice the series of amazing  coincidences  of Philemon’s runaway slave, Onesimus found  himself in jail with the Apostle.  Coincidence?   A dear sister in a previous parish would always tell me, “Pastor, not coincidences but God-incidences.”  I think that works for Philemon…and for us as well.

We like to think in terms of  “networking”, or “network”, or…

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Philemon, verses 1-7

Sunday’s Epistle Reading is the entire Epistle to Philemon from the Apostle Paul: one whole chapter! Yet, there is much to learn and grow in reading this entire epistle. I pray my fragment of a commentary is salutary for your walk with the Lord.

Concordia and Koinonia

                            An “epistle” is literally a letter.  They were letters, though, to be read publicly as in this epistle to Philemon to the Church meeting in the home of Philemon, Aphia and Archippus (verse 2). It was personal, yet public.   The Apostle began his epistles with the recipients of his writing, then with an apostolic greeting and then a thanksgiving for the letter’s readers

Excursus:   regarding verse 3:  “Grace and peace…”:  the Apostolic greeting and it’s variations has been customary  greeting for a Lutheran pastor to begin his sermon.  Why?  First it’s a profound prayer and benediction in the Lord for the congregation and secondly, for the congregation to know that the sermon which follows is derived from Scriptures, both Law and Gospel, and does not deviate on purpose from the apostolic Faith, see verse 6.

Excursus: verses 4—7: the Greek word for “thanksgiving”, eucharisto, in vs. 4 is the basis of the…

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