Paul in this chapter underscores the importance of Christian community in a couple of different ways.
He devotes a big section to name people with whom he has had the pleasure of fellowship with, calling many of them by name and greeting them as well as encouraging and blessing them. What a great example to us that we are to encourage and bless those we are in fellowship with, sometimes even if we are no longer in their immediate presence.
He then admonishes the Romans one more time to be careful of those who cause divisions in the church. Watch out for them and dont entertain their crazy talk.
The last part of this section is a reminder to us that Paul was not a lone ranger. He may be the one whose name is mentioned but he stands on the shoulders of many people who were partnering with him and working in a team together to see the kingdom of heaven advance. Timothy, Lucius, Jason, Sosipater, Tertuis, Gaius...to name a few.
We are to always remember that we are not lone rangers in living out this Christian life as well as in fulfilling our commission to go and preach the good news. We need to be in community where together we are better. In community we are encouraged and challenged; we reach higher and go farther because there are others along the way helping you (pushing or pulling). We are meant to live in community and we can last for the long haul if we choose to live in such a way.
Are you truly living in community?
Who have you encouraged or blessed this week that is a part of your community?
How are you contributing to the community you are a part of?