Well Kats and Kitties, we’re on to our next study! This Sunday we’ll be starting a seven week (just shy of two and a half years) study in the book of Titus. Titus was a really funny TV show back in the 90’s…but that’s a different thing.
The Titus we’ll be looking at is the one in the New Testament. It’s a short little book written by Paul to a young protege he left in Crete to get things in order with the churches. It was probably written sometime between Paul’s house arrest and his final arrest in Rome, so it’s just near the end of his ministry.
The larger theme of this book will be about how we put the stuff we claim to believe (the gospel, the hope of the coming kingdom of God) into practice. In this short letter Paul makes the strongest correlation between what we believe and how we live.
We’ll cover the first four verses of chapter one this Sunday. It is Paul’s introduction and greeting – though even by ancient standards, it’s pretty long. It’s one serious run-on sentence. We get the distinct impression that Paul is less concerned about grammatical structuring than he is trying to get a point across even in his “hello”. As you read it, consider how Paul describes himself. What is the first thing he identifies as a characteristic of his life (v1)? The word he uses in the Greek is “doulos” – and here’s the lexicon entry for that word. Is there any hint of self-importance in that title?
The question that lingers is…who are WE in God’s plan? Paul saw his place, is ours any different? What does this look like when lived out in real life?
Paul new more than just his status though. If you read the passage in the Message (it reads much more clearly there), what did Paul’s overall purpose in life seem to be? If you were asked to sum it up in one word, what word would you choose?
Just a warning: If we’re people who want to build our own kingdom, prioritize comfort and feel we deserve to always be happy….Titus will wreck us. If, however, we are weary of empty and shallow pursuits in church and life in general…Titus will drink like cold, clear water on a hot summer day. It all depends on our end-goal I suppose.
Hopefully we’ll see you Sunday!