Timothy gets a letter.

I started reading to our Bible study group.

“Timothy was praying when the mail arrived. Or, more accurately, when the courier came.

“He had been praying for Paul, as he always did. He had no idea whether Paul was still alive. The messages carried out of Rome said that he was surviving the trials, but Timothy knew that Christians were being killed. And Paul had been in trouble for a long time.

“Timothy unfolded the parchment…”

“How do you know all that?” Phil interrupted.

“All what?” I said.

“What he was doing, that he was praying for Paul, that he unfolded the papyrus?”

“Let him finish.” Sue said.

I smiled. “No, it’s a fair question. And if I’m going to tell these stories as stories, we need to be clear right now what I’m doing.

“I don’t know that Timothy was praying at that moment. But I wrote it that way because Timothy likely prayed for Paul all the time, just like Paul prayed for Timothy regularly. Timothy had watched Paul for a long time. As we’ll see later, Timothy knew everything about Paul.

“And Paul says at the beginning of many of his letters that he prays all the time for the people he is writing to. It seems likely that Timothy would have picked up the practice.

“And, in a leap of imagination, it is possible that the message from Paul arrived at a time when Timothy was praying, asking God to protect and strengthen Paul. It would be the kind of timing that God demonstrates elsewhere.

“And as to the papyrus, what we know of writing at the time, papyrus was more likely that parchment for letters. Parchment was more expensive. At the end of the letter, Paul will ask Timothy to bring his parchments.

“Thank you. I needed to know where you are getting that. Go ahead.” Phil said.

I started reading again. “Timothy unfolded the papyrus letter, and began to read.

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ…” (2 Timothy 1)

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