- William T. Howe Ph.D.
November 28, 2021
Daily Reading: Romans 14-16
Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.
In Romans chapter 16 there are about 30 individuals listed, the vast majority of whom we know nothing about. Consider the two listed in today’s verse: Urbane, and Stachys. This is the only time in the entire Bible that their name is used. Who are they? How did Urbane help Paul? Why was Stachys beloved? What was their story? We know nothing about not only these two, but most of the others that are listed herein. To Paul they were important, to us, they are archaic names passed by in the totality of the Scriptures.
As a pastor, I could make my own list, as every pastor could. Names no one outside of our little circle would know. I could tell great stories of assistance to the cause of Christ at the Friendly Lane Baptist Church, stories of sacrifice, honor, great deeds, and timely help. This is the way it is with the Lord’s work though. Someone has to be visible, someone has to be the mouthpiece, someone has to be the leader, someone has to be out front. But, for every one of these there are multitudes of individuals who make it possible for that one.
The visible leader is not the key. Those in the unnamed chorus of workers are the key. They make it go. They make it work. They make it whole. They do the hard work. They are the unsung ones, the invisible inner workers, their notes are so high or low that they cannot be heard for they are out of the range of recognizable sounds. When the story of their church is told they will be mentioned, if only in passing. But the Head of the church, Jesus Christ, will know. The pastor will know. The angels will know. In eternity there will be time to hear their stories, learn of their deeds, and see their impact.
So, to the unnamed, unheralded, unidentified, and unrevealed heroes of the faith, keep up the good work! For as Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in the last verse of the great resurrection chapter of the Bible: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58) Unnamed you may be, but unknown to Him…never.
By the way, if possible, if somehow you can read this earthly devotion, Urbane and Stachys…please allow me to meet you in Heaven, I’d love to hear your story.
Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.