READ : Romans 16:1-16
Greet Prisca and Aquila . . . Epaenetus . . . Mary [etc.]. (vv. 3-6)
“Sometimes you want to go where everyone knows your name.” If you watched any television in the 1980s, you probably recognize this as part of the theme song of Cheers. While I do not necessarily endorse hanging out in bars, that message does resonate with me.
These verses in the closing chapter of Romans contain name after name after name. Even though Paul has never visited the church in Rome, he knows by name many of the Christians there. He has taken the time to investigate the names of the Roman Christians, and he greets each one he knows.
Did Paul know every Christian in Rome? Probably not; he wasn’t God. But God did know their names, as he knows the name of every Christian today. He knows your name.
The church should be the place where everyone knows your name and is glad you came. It’s the place where you should be able to find acceptance for who you are, where you don’t have to live by pretense. Does that describe your church?
The next time you are at church, take the time to greet those you know and to find out the names of those you don’t know. The church is, after all, people, not a building.
Dear God, help me love individually all Christians with whom I come into contact. Amen.