Today I am going to do something big. Instead of doing the reflection for one chapter, I am going to do the reflection for an entire book. Oh, this book only has one chapter you say? Oh. Phew. Dodged a bullet there.
What is the point of Philemon? The point is forgiveness.
You see, Philemon owned a slave named Onesimus, who later fled from his master. Paul met up with Onesimus after he fled, and Onesimus became a Christian. Philemon views Onesimus as useless. Paul then turns it around, and represents him as useful. He is a “son” or a “brother”.
You see, this letter calls us to live in relationships, regardless of what the greater culture, or even what the law says for us to do. To share our resources with those in need. To welcome the stranger – whether they have legal citizenship or not.
The light shines through our church in not how we preach, but in how we live. Philemon rejected a man, and Paul sent him back. Who have you rejected? Is it because they hurt you? Have they just been someone who has had little use to you? Who are the people in your life that you are rejecting (whether you mean it or not) simply because they have little use to you?