Read: Romans 15:22-33
I will leave for Spain by way of you. (v. 28)
I often find it challenging to describe the richness I experience in leading the global family we call “Words of Hope.” As we receive God’s Word in our lives personally, we are also part of a global community. In today’s text, Paul hints at what I experience. First, notice the sweeping geographic arc he makes connecting the saints in Macedonia to Jerusalem to his longing to visit Spain by way of Rome. As I scroll daily through emails from Africa, Europe, and South Asia, I am given a small taste of the gospel’s global movement.
Second, it’s more than geography. Relationships permeate the mission. The saints of Macedonia were pleased to make an offering for the saints in Jerusalem because it was through the Jews that God’s blessings came to them (v. 27). When Paul visits Rome, he hopes they will be similarly generous for Spain and that he will enjoy their company (v. 24). Being in relationships across the globe lives out what the Apostles’ Creed calls “the communion of saints.”
Third, he asks them “to strive together with me in your prayers to God” (v. 30). Though separated by distance, prayer unites the hearts of scattered saints before God. As you and I strive in prayer here, our sisters and brothers around the world strive with us. Once each month, I pray with a global team on Zoom, each crying out in their own language before God. There is nothing quite like it. —Jon Opgenorth
As you pray, thank God for your sisters and brothers.
About the Author
Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.