By Mandy Smith
We don’t know as much about Timothy as we do the apostle Paul, but we know Paul trusted Timothy deeply.
Paul sent Timothy as his representative to churches he had planted. Paul listed Timothy as a co-sender of several of his letters, and the New Testament includes two letters Paul wrote directly to Timothy. In them, we get a picture of a trustworthy and incredibly faithful young leader who had an important role in the development of the early church.
So it’s significant Paul remembered the source of Timothy’s faith. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul wrote, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (1:5).
Today [September 9] is Grandparent’s Day, a good time to reflect on the real influence grandparents have on us and the ways their faith keeps us faithful. Scripture tells us we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. We do not build our own faith. No, our faith is built upon the faithfulness of those who have gone before. And we, in turn, are building a foundation for those who come after.
Communion is a time to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus and how his work on the cross made it possible for us to commune again with the Father. But God’s concern is not only for us to commune directly with him as individuals. He is also interested in how humans connect to one another and come to him as a body. In Communion, God wants us to know our personal connection to him; at the same time, he wants us to know how we’re connected to every other follower who is connected to him.
Look around the room as you take Communion. Give thanks for those who have forged a path before you. How have they paved the path to Communion for you? Give thanks that you can commune with God together. And give thanks for those who will come after you. How are you forging a path for them toward Communion with God?
Praise God for the way he draws us all to him and to one another!
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Originally from Australia, Mandy Smith is pastor of University Christian Church, a campus and neighborhood congregation with its own fair-trade café in Cincinnati. She is the author of The Vulnerable Pastor: How Human Limitations Empower Our Ministry.