Philemon 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and co-worker, 2 to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
As Paul launches into this letter he refers to himself as a “prisoner of Christ Jesus”. Based on my reading about the context of this letter Paul was literally a prisoner. But there is also a metaphorical reality expressed here as well. Paul has submitted to Jesus Christ in such a way that he is bound by the gospel. He’s no longer in control of his own life.
I’d like to think of myself as a prisoner of Christ as well, though I’m often tempted to take back control. This morning I’m writing from Ocean City, NJ where I’m participating in a continuing education event. When my schedule gets out of the norm – like now – I’m tempted to skip writing this reflection. It seems that I don’t really have time – but here I am. There are other things I need to be catching up on, but I’m going to trust the Lord to make up this time somehow. It may seem trivial, but in a small way I want to live as one captive to Christ.
Lord Jesus, when we’re tempted to be master of our own lives, give us grace to submit to your will and your ways. Amen.