Sunday, December 6
Finish the task
Scripture: Colossians 1-4
Colossians 4:17 And say to Archippus, “Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.” (GNB says “finish the task”)
Paul wraps up his letter to the Colossian church with some personal greetings, including this one to Archippus (who is also mentioned in Philemon 2). “Carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.” Fulfill your ministry; finish the task. It is not clear what his ministry was. He might have been filling in for Epaphras as pastor in Colossae or Laodicea. It is also not clear why Paul wrote this. Was Archippus discouraged and in danger of quitting? Was this just an “attaboy” for Archippus, or a commendation for the sake of the church to be receptive to his ministry? We don’t know.
What we do know is that Archippus had some kind of ministry given to him by the Lord, and that he needed to see it through to the finish. The words “carry out” translate a Greek word that means “to complete, finish, to carry out to the full.” Finish the task the Lord gave you.
This spoke to me since I’m near the end of our pastoral transition, and I will assume a new ministry role starting in January. (I’m not retiring.) I want to finish this role well—a difficult thing to do in a pandemic that has upset our normal ways and means. And I want to carry out the new role that I’m being given and do it well.
Why is this important for me? I’m drawn to lots of fun and interesting things and need to maintain clear focus on what God has given me to do. This doesn’t mean that I can’t or won’t do some of those fun and interesting things—I will! But it means that I have a task set before me and I don’t want to lose my focus or passion. I want to finish my calling well.
Prayer: Lord help me! Help me finish well! Help me give my very best to whatever task You assign me!