You Can Only Do So Much

“So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.”

Words from our First Reading today, the Second Letter of Paul to Timothy – on today, Timothy’s feast.

You can only do so much.

This is the end of the line for Paul, and he can feel it.

He had made four missionary journeys, spanning 10,000 miles over a decade or so.

He had set up small church communities everywhere, under the perilous radar of the Romans.

Some friends, Phygelus, Hermogenes, Demas, and “everyone in the province of Asia” abandoned him – leaving him high and dry.

He’d lost touch with his other friends, Crescens, Titus and Tychicus and wasn’t sure where he stood with them.

He’d already been arrested once, and now he’s held a second time in a cold dungeon, chained like a common criminal.

Only Luke sits by his side, in these, the last moments of his life.

Sounds a lot like Jesus, at the end of his life.

Paul finds himself with no choice but to turn everything he’s worked on over to God. There is no more Paul can do.

He submits everything to God, and with a final exhortation, he urges Timothy to continue where he left off.

It was a dark day for Paul, but a new day for the fledgling Church.

A passing of the torch.

And in this passing, Luke writes a story.

And another.

And Timothy goes on to continue in Paul’s footsteps, spreading this gospel.

And this once feeble community thrives to this day.

We will all pass a legacy on to someone else.

We do what we can on this earth and leave the rest up to God.

You can only do so much.

God will do the rest.

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