Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
GRACEFUL LIVING IN OLD AGE
2 Timothy 4:1-8
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2Timothy 4: 6,7)Holy Church consider St. Paul as its architect and builder. Paul himself says that he “worked harder than all the Apostles” and “laid a foundation as an expert builder.” Paul’s last days set us an example how to retire
from all earthly tasks gracefully and facing death peacefully. For living a graceful life in old age, two things are important.
1. Entrusting responsibilities and traditions to the next generation ( 2Timothy 4:1-5)
Paul considered Timothy as his true son in the faith. Here he uses the words, which was usually used for drafting a will or a deed of succession. (v.1) His witnesses are God and the Christ. Paul was an eminent missionary and profound preacher of the word of God. Through this letter he was entrusting all his responsibilities to his successor. Paul urges Timothy to do the work of an evangelist by preaching the Word and be prepared at all times. He exhorts him to lead the believers by correcting, rebuking and encouraging them with careful instructions and sound doctrines. Paul warns Timothy about the challenges and possible dangers in the future and advises him to take pain for the fulfillment of the ministry.
2. Preparing oneself to face the death (2Timothy4: 6-8)
Looking back at the end of his life, Paul smiles with contentment. He considers his life as a drink offering. If life is considered as an offering, every action, small or big, would be a service to God. Something offered to God must be holy and so the life should become holier and holier day by day. As a drink offering has no residues in the end, one’s egoism should be vanished. Paul says that his departure is at hand. The word ‘departure’ depicts wide variety of pictures. Three of them are: (a) setting a captive free (b) relieving an animal from the yoke and (c) getting ready of a ship for new journey).
Paul here says; “time has come for my departure.” To Paul death is a relief from pain and strife and a starting point for a new journey. Like his master who uttered on the cross, “it’s finished”, Paul says that he has fulfilled his mission and life purposes and gets ready for the eternal reward. For graceful living in old age, we need to entrust our responsibilities and traditions to successors and train day by day to face death and eternity.
Prayer: Lord, help us to be detached from the outcome of all our efforts, to give away what we have to appropriate persons in appropriate time and to get ready to face death and eternity while you demands. Amen
Rev.Joe John, St.James Mar Thoma Church, New York