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In The Background

Read Romans 16:21-27

Timothy, my fellow-worker, and Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my relatives, send you their good wishes. I, Tertius, the one who is writing this letter for Paul, send my greetings too, as a Christian brother. Gaius says to say "hello" to you for him. I am his guest, and the church meets here in his home. Erastus, the city treasurer, sends you his greetings and so does Quartus, a Christian brother.Goodbye. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Romans 16:21-24 (TLB)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord. Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

Mary Hunt Webb lives in New Mexico. Through several generations, various members of her family have been involved in ministry. One was a pastor, another was a missionary, two others were on the staff of different ministries, and several have served as volunteers. Although Mary has volunteered through the years, her main ministry now is as a Christian writer. She spends long hours researching, reading, and writing. Since her work takes place where others can't see it happening, some people assume that she is not heavily involved in church work.

In his letters, the apostle Paul mentioned various people who had done good work where others could not see it. In today's reading, Paul lists the names of several of them. While Phoebe tops that list in Romans 16:1, Mary is partial to the one who identified himself in Romans 6:22: "I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord." Like Mary, Tertius, was performing his ministry in the background.

While we may take for granted the work of those like Tertius, it's important to remember that not all work in ministry is visible to us. Nevertheless, that work is vital to the spreading of the gospel.

Prayer: Gracious Lord, thank you for those who spread the gospel in ways that are not always visible. Give them the assurance that their work is important and needed, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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