Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— 2 also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Names matter. We tend to like it when people remember and use our names and affirm and appreciate our personal characteristics.
As far as I can calculate, in his New Testament letters Paul mentions over 55 people by name. Some were foes but most were friends. The lists, as here, include both men and women. Paul was not a ‘lone ranger’ leader – trying to do everything by himself. He recognised the importance of fellowship in the gospel.
Recently I read a quote from Henri Nouwen, in which he was saying that we are all gifted, and if we bring our own contribution to the table we needn’t be envious of anyone else, nor threatened by them. We can co-operate and collaborate rather than compete.
‘We do not have to think alike to think together.’ Rick Rigsby.
‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.’ Helen Keller