Greet also the church that meets at their house. (Rom. 16:5)

He was so glad he hadn’t missed the phone this time, because he always enjoyed reconnecting. Spending an hour on a Saturday afternoon relaxing in the sun and hearing about all the goings-on in the place he had loved so much was the perfect weekend activity.

He kept thinking of people to send his love to. He had so many amazing friendships there because they had grown so strong together through life’s victories and the challenges. They had celebrated births and weddings, mourned losses, and recovered through tragedies. And they had served each other and shared their faith in the mundane parts of everyday life. What grace.

When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, it was filled with personal greetings. He had so many people he wanted to send love to and encourage to be unified. People for whom his heart still beat, even though he was so far away. How encouraging it must have been for him to know his friends and colaborers were still sharing their faith and their lives with others. The movement of the gospel of Christ had not stopped because Paul had left. But rather, its momentum continued as the Roman believers shared their lives, their stories, and their homes with one another. Their persistence to build community and operate as one body was fuel for the wildfire spread of the gospel.

Thank people for their friendship, and actively encourage them to pursue unity.

Elizabeth Rhyno is a wife, mom, and pastor of relational arts at Waterline [Wesleyan] Church. Elizabeth chooses to pursue the Lord and lean into his heart for community.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.