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“All I know most surely about morality and obligation I owe to football”,

Albert Camus

Epitaph

Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test. Romans 16:10

In the last chapter of his letter to the Romans, Paul listed people who have helped or encouraged him and gives them all a kind of epitaph.

Ampliatus is “my dear friend in the Lord”.
Urbanus is a “fellow worker in Christ”.
Three women are commended for “working hard for the Lord”.

But the one that stood out for me was Apelles. We don’t anything more about him. We don’t know whether there was one “test” or several. We don’t know whether he was great preacher, effective evangelist or someone who stacked the chairs after the service, so to speak.

When Paul thought of Apelles, the first thing he thought was “a man who is faithful to Christ”. The phrase suggests longevity, faithfulness over a period of years, a lifetime perhaps.

In our world some people seem to be blessed with a lot more obvioustalent than others. And our celebrity-obsessed society gravitates towards the visible, prominent leader types. There are many accolades that this world can give – whether sporting success or prominence in politics or business. None of them is bad.

For Paul the bigger question is has your fidelity to Christ stood the test of richness or poverty of success or failure?

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