Jump Start # 2966
Colossians 4:17 “And say to Archippus, ‘Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.’”
Archippus needed some help. He needed to be reminded. The Colossian letter ends by naming his name. Everyone now knew. He needed to take heed to the ministry. Was he slacking off? Did he have divided attention and was distracted by other things? Was he lazy? Whatever the cause, it didn’t matter. He needed to get about doing what he was supposed to do.
I expect that could be said of each of us. Most of us would be extremely uncomfortable, even greatly embarrassed if a letter was read before our congregation and there at the end of that letter was our name. Our name was said out loud. It wasn’t a shout out or a “that’a boy,” type of recognition. Instead, like Archippus, it was a reminder for us to take heed and fulfill what we are supposed to do.
For some of us, that reading of our name might include attending more. It’s so easy to justify not going to worship. Been there once on Sunday, that’s enough, we say. It’s raining and I don’t feel like getting out. I can always catch it on the livestream or watch it later. Holidays are getting close and I’ve got a lot of getting ready that needs to get done. It’s been a long week and I’m just tired. And, here’s the reader saying, “Archippus, take heed to your commitment and fulfill what you promised.”
For others, it might be making better choices in life. Some really struggle with this. They still have too much of the world in them and they like the taste of worldliness. And, this riding the fence shows in their choices. Social drinking is something they want to do. Watching movies that are not healthy to the soul. Close friendships with those who are moving away from the Lord. They are likely to lie, if it is convenient. They are likely to cheat, if it is to their advantage. No going out of the way. No serving because it’s the right thing to do. And, here’s the reader saying, “Archippus, take heed to your choice to follow Christ.”
For others, it’s all internal. They can’t let go of a hurt. They won’t forgive. They dwell with fear and doubt. Faith is the issue here. Worry is an everyday problem. They fear they are going to run out of money. They fear they are going to get Covid. They fear dying. They fear they may not make it to Heaven. And, here’s the reader saying, “Archippus, take heed to your faith in Christ Jesus.”
I’m not pushing for us to say names like this in our worship services. I expect if that happened today, those named would never come back. You wonder about our Archippus. How did he take his name being read publically? Did he take heed as the apostle wanted him to, or did he go the other direction?
Archippus reminds us of other important lessons. It’s about names.
First, we all have a name. Our names distinguish us from others. Our names are given to us. We did not get to pick out what names we’d be called by. Not sure if I would have chosen ‘Roger,’ but my parents did. It’s the only name I have had. You have a name. I have a name. God has a name.
Second, our names are important. If our names are mispronounced, we quickly correct the person. If our names are not spelled right, we point that out. My daughter’s name is “SARAH.” When she was a little girl, she’d always say, “My name is Sarah with an H.” I’d follow with, “My name is ’Roger’ with an “R”.
Third, when you pray say names. Name the sick. Name the lost. Name those who are hurting you. Put their names before Heaven. It’s easy to generically say, “We pray for the sick.” Which sick? Name them. Identify what’s going on. Ask the Lord to help them.
Fourth, we must use God’s name reverently. His name is sacred. It is holy. It is not something you say when you are excited, mad or can’t think of anything else to say. God is a person and you are using His name. Use it correctly and use it reverently. Hallowed be Thy name is what Jesus said in the model prayer.
Fifth, get to know the names of your church family. Saying someone’s name is important. Knowing their name is important. For some, this is easy. For others, this is a real chore. When someone has moved into a new congregation, there are so many new faces and names and stories to put together. The faster you do this the more comfortable and the more adjusted you will feel with the church. If your congregation has a picture directory, take it with you to services. Look at the pictures and try to connect to who they are. Your fellowship deeps and becomes more helpful when you know others and they know you.
Archippus, take heed to the ministry. Archippus, get about it. Archippus, let’s get going.