Tag Archives: Romans 16

High-Fidelity Follower

Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test.
Romans 16:10 (NIV)

During the holidays my niece excitedly announced to the family that she’d purchased her first vinyl record. I find it both fascinating and wonderful that vinyl records are making a comeback. Years after most of us trashed our collections of 45s and LPs, sales of vinyl records experienced double digit sales growth in 2018. It’s a good trend.

Growing up I remember that “High Fidelity” was a tag that graced most album covers, especially the old Dave Brubeck, Frank Sinatra, and Stan Getz LPs my parents still had sitting around. Just say the words “High Fidelity” and it conjures up images of a mid-century modern font and little starburst graphics.

Fidelity is kind of an old fashioned word. It comes from the Latin fidelis which we usually translate as “faithful.” In the world of music, the connotation of “High Fidelity” (sometimes abbreviated as “Hi-Fi”) was that it was “true to sound.” In other words, the music you hear on the record is a true reproduction of the music as you would have heard it had you been sitting in the studio listening to the band.

In today’s last chapter of Romans, Paul offers personal greetings to numerous individual members of the Jesus followers in Rome. I was struck when I read his greeting to Apelles “whose fidelity to Christ stood the test.” I thought it odd that the translators chose to use the word “fidelity” rather than the more common “faithfulness.”

As I’ve been mulling it over in the quiet this morning I love the connotation in relationship to a musical recording. Apelles was an authentic replication of Jesus; A reproduction that is “true to sound” with the original. What a great word picture, and what a compliment to Apelles.

As I get ready to enter into my day, I’m mindful of the ways I want to tangibly be a “Hi-Fi” follower Jesus (complete with mid-century modern font and graphics).

Rock on, my friend.

A Raving Fan of the Fairer Sex

I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people….
Romans 16:2a

This morning, I am pleasantly struck by the number of women Paul mentions in his final greetings to the followers of Jesus in Rome, as well as the honor he bestows on them:

  • Phoebe, a deacon and benefactor of believers
  • Priscilla – who risked her life for Paul and others, and opened her home to be a meeting place.
  • Mary, who worked hard for the Roman believers
  • Tryphena, who works hard in the Lord
  • Tryphosa, who works hard in the Lord
  • Persis, who works hard in the Lord
  • The mother of Rufus, who mothered Paul
  • Julia
  • The sister of Nereus

Paul’s ministry, like Jesus’ before him, was made largely possible by incredible, honored women who were providers, risk takers, and tireless co-workers.

Today, I’m thankful for the incredible, honored women with whom God has surrounded me. Intelligent, diligent, industrious, capable, passionate, priceless, tireless, (and gorgeous, btw). I am a raving fan of the fairer sex.

Chapter-a-Day Romans 16

Jail Cell
Image by abardwell via Flickr

Hello to my cousins Andronicus and Junias. We once shared a jail cell. Romans 16:7a (MSG)

Just last week I was on a business trip that sent me and my coworker driving down I35 from San Antonio, Texas to Laredo and back. While we driving, I suddenly had a flood of memories. I was on that same stretch of interstate when I was 16. Around 40 kids from my church youth group drove from Des Moines, Iowa to Acapulco, Mexico and back in four vans of questionable road worthiness (talk about road trip). Even though it was 30 years ago, there are experiences from that trip that are permanently, vividly etched in my memory:

  • Breaking down. Frequently. (especially fun in the desert)
  • Sleeping on concrete. A lot.
  • Learning the true meaning of Montezuma’s Revenge, then thinking my sister really loved me enough to give up her “free day” in Acapulco to nurse me back to health. Later I found out she really just wanted an excuse, while I was unconscious in bed, to steal a pair of underwear from each of the boys so the girls could tie dye them all purple.
  • Singing, laughing, fighting, and sharing Jesus with others.

Shared experience connects us with others. You know that behind Paul’s greeting to Adronicus and Junias, there is a story. You don’t share a jail cell without there being a story or two.

Today, I’m grateful for those with whom I’ve shared some really incredible experiences along the journey.

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