Well, Paul did make it to Rome, but not in the timeframe or along the route he had planned. While he was in Jerusalem the crowds tried to kill him and then Paul was arrested but was allowed to give his testimony about how Jesus changed his life. This led to a two-year imprisonment in Jerusalem. During his time in prison as he awaited trial, several prominent leaders heard the gospel from Paul. Paul appealed to Caesar and so he was sent to Rome and survived a shipwreck along the way. He lived under house arrest in Rome for another two years. These days, weeks and months were not wasted in self-pity, but lived with purpose. Paul empowered the believers in Rome and also served the Lord by writing letters.
Four of these wisdom-filled letters written during this time are included in the New Testament. Believers who lived in a heavily pagan-influenced area benefitted greatly when they received one of Paul’s letters. To the saints (the consecrated people of God) and believing and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace (spiritual favor and blessing) to you and [heart] peace from God our Father. The best way to share blessings and peace with others is to do so out of a heart that is filled with God’s grace and peace. Paul was able to authentically offer grace and peace for he had contentment in less-than-best living conditions. His life is a good example for us. Let’s not wait until the situation is just right to live the abundant life that Jesus offers.
It was also during his Roman imprisonment that Paul wrote to his friend Philemon and we get to read that letter a little later in God’s Story. Tucked into the letter that Philemon received was a jewel of wise counsel. Paul said that as we share our faith, we will gain a full understanding of every good thing we have in Jesus. Let us share, and not stockpile, the good that we have, because when we do so, our understanding of this good makes more sense to us. May it lead us to be appreciative and to generously offer grace and peace to others.