Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. (ESV)
We find in this greeting to Urbanus and Stachys two words that are important to anyone who belongs to the church. The words are "work" and "love." These words were not just important to the church in Paul's day. They are words that are vital to us today. Any local gathering of believers that does not take these words to heart will struggle to do anything for the Savior and will likely not grow as a church body.
Let's talk about love. This is a common word from Paul as we have been reading his various greetings to people in the church at Rome. Paul was an Apostle. He had authority in the church. In some ways we could expect that Paul could just command people to do things and expect that they would do them. But, that would have Paul treating people as objects to do his bidding, not treating them in love.
Paul knew that because the love of God had transformed his life, it was love that was needed to see transformation in the people who would receive his gospel message. No matter what a person does in a church they are called by God to act in love. It was the Apostle Paul who wrote to the church in Corinth, "If I have not love, I gain nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:3).
This other word we need to consider is work. Urbanus is a fellow worker. Sadly, in many churches today, we could greet most of the people in the congregation as our fellow "pew warmer." In the proclamation of the Gospel in our communities we are all required to do our part. If you are part of a local church and you are not serving you are missing out on helping the church in some way. God calls us all to be workers.
How about you? Are you one who acts in love towards others? If not, you will gain nothing. How about your work in the church? Are you doing any? Your local body of believers that you belong to needs you. May God encourage you today to work and to love by the power of his precious Holy Spirit.