Christopher Jefferson, a senior at the University of Michigan and member of the church I pastor, the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit
Christopher Jefferson, a senior at the University of Michigan and member of the church I pastor, the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit

Every day this week I am writing reflections on the first chapter of the Book of Romans. I want to thank you for walking this journey with me. In the 13th verse, the Apostle Paul laments to his readers in Rome that he has not yet been able to see them in person because he is confident that if he can just meet them face to face that he would be able to share spiritual, biblical and theological insights with them that they would receive as a blessing. Remember, the people Paul is writing to already know Christ. This is not a church he has established, but a church that is already in place. Paul desires to teach them things about the Christian that perhaps they do not already know. He wants to edify the church, strengthen the church and build upon a church that already is functional. I believe that Paul is also hoping to demonstrate to the church additional ways in which it can reach out to the uninformed and bring persons who are not yet convicted and convinced as to the reality of Jesus Christ and bring them into the church.

Paul wants to fellowship with believers in Christ who live in the big city of Rome whom he has not yet met. Fellowship is important. Friendship and the relationships we build in life are the things that really matter. As technologically sophisticated our society becomes, we still thirst and crave the human contact that bubble up from personal relationships. I felt this yesterday when I received a phone call from a high priced corporate “Head-hunter” who now resides in Chicago, but originally is from Detroit. I have known her from my youth. She was shaped and formed as a member of my church and is just a few years younger than i. When I was finishing undergraduate college she sometimes helped me by typing my papers. Her younger sisters and brother were in a youth ministry that I led during my final two years of college. It was that experience that propelled me into the ministry. I had officiated her marriage. She called me to check references and provide her with additional names for the top leadership position for an organization in Detroit. Actually, what she did yesterday is not new. She has called me for almost the past twenty years with a similar request: “Do you know these persons and what can you tell me about them?” “Are there other persons you think might be a good fit for this position?” The more we talked, the more I was struck with the importance of human relationships. With all of her high powered research tools, at the end of the day she still felt the need for human interaction and reflection. In a sense, that is what the Apostle Paul was saying in his letter to the Romans. He “longed to see them in order that he might be able to reap a harvest among them.”

Thank you for reading this post. As I build this new ministry, I hope you will consider, “Following” this WordPress site and share with those you believe might find it meaningful.

Romans 1: 13 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as I have among the rest of the Gentiles.[1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How do you know when your encouragement to others to believe, accept and live the faith in Jesus Christ is “Reaping a harvest?”
  2. What can you learn from this scripture?

 

Prayer:

Lord, teach me to fish for the souls of men, women and children. Help me in my own unique way to be positive and not negative. Release me from my inhibitions to speak your word, teach your word and live your word. Grant me success in showing others the way to your salvation. Lord, may your word be hope to the hopeless, faith to the faithless, and most of all love for all. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Mike Daniels

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Hood at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

Information about Nicholas Hood III Ministries and its work in America and around the world at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

  • Order your copy of the new inspirational book of prayers and photos written and taken by Nicholas Hood III entitled, “The Test, The Strength, The Endurance and the Way Out” at nicholashoodiiiministries.org

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ro 1:13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.