“For I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day!” (2 Timothy 1:12)
St. Paul writes this letter to Timothy as he knows the end of his earthly life is upon him. He is in prison and is about to be executed. His thoughts, in part, dwell on the faithfulness of our Lord both in “the here and now” and in eternity. He is “persuaded” that the Lord is able to keep what he committed to Him. What did St. Paul commit to the Lord? What do we commit to the Lord?
In the services of the Orthodox Faith, we regularly say with all our hearts, “Let us commit ourselves, and each other, and our whole life to Christ our God.” This isn’t something we simply do once in our life and that’s that. This is something we do every day and many times a day as we face different circumstance in our lives. Every time we choose to follow Christ instead of following anything or anyone else, we are another step closer to committing our whole life to Him.
We know Whom we believe in. He is the One Who came to this earth in His love for us. We are now in the midst of the Nativity Fast as we journey toward the celebration of His appearing on this earth, His Incarnation. Being fully God and fully man, He trampled down our greatest enemy, death, by His own death on the Cross. (See Philippians 2:5-10) He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He has prepared a place for us in His Kingdom.
With St. Paul, let us also be “persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him.” We know that our Lord is able and now we are called to keep that commitment every day. Later, in the letter to Timothy, St. Paul writes: “The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:6-7)
My brothers and sisters, we are still in the “fight” and we are still running “the race.” May we do our best each day to keep the faith. Indeed, let us commit our whole life to Christ our God today and every day. As we draw near to the celebration of the Holy Nativity of our Lord, may we be strengthened for our daily “fight” by St. Paul’s final words for us who love the Lord’s appearing on this earth:
“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8)
With you in the journey…Fr. Stephen