Hello! Today we will be reading the shortest reading of our journey as we come to the book of Philemon which is a very brief letter consisting of a single chapter. You might read this and wonder why it's even included, but in my opinion, this is one of Paul's most beautiful letters. Not necessarily because of the prose but rather than content. Philemon was a rich and influential Christian, possibly a bishop. Philemon had a slave named Onesimus who must have done something wrong to him, likely ran away, possibly stole something before running away. (speculation) Sometime along the way he meets Paul and Paul "adopts" him and promises to protect him. He writes the letter to Philemon asking him to forgive Onesimus and to charge any offenses to Paul. This is such a powerful letter of not only forgiveness but of seeing value in cultural and economic differences. What lessons can we take from this short lesson for our own homes and in our own community?
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about Paul?
Pope Benedict XVI called this epistle "the greatest witness that Christianity can transform society." How has your Christian faith influenced or transformed your life?
Paul urges Philemon to only forgive Onesimus and take him back, but under the conditions he take him back not as a slave but as as brother in Christ. How do you see the sacred value of people who are very different from you?
- Overview Video -
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is inspired by hymn 334 - Sweet, Sweet Spirit. I invite you to end this time of study with a moment of meditation on music.
There's a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place,
And I know that it's the Spirit of the Lord;
There are sweet expressions on each face,
And I know they feel the presence of the Lord.
Sweet Holy Spirit, Sweet heavenly Dove,
Stay right here with us, filling us with Your love.
And for these blessings we lift our hearts in praise;
Without a doubt we'll know that we have been revived,
When we shall leave this place.