2 Timothy 4:6-18
6 As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
9 Do your best to come to me soon, 10for Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful in my ministry. 12I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will pay him back for his deeds. 15You also must beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message.
16 At my first defence no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Reflection by Lynne Buell
Paul writes this letter to one of his two associates – Timothy in Ephesus. Paul is passing on what he learned by encouraging and showing Timothy how to develop spiritual leadership in local congregations. Paul knew it was essential because badly formed leadership could cause much damage in faith communities. Through this testimony, we learn that Paul felt strongly that he was going to be rewarded by a heavenly Lord because he competed according to the rules to win the victory. Paul was lonely as he was abandoned by those mentioned in the scripture, except for Luke, who traveled with him on many of his missionary journeys yet still remained with Paul. We discover that Paul was an ordinary man with ordinary needs, he was a scholar to the end; and he did not care how he dressed only needing a cloak to keep off the rain. Paul was prepared to face his last minutes with optimism and joy, even though he was penniless, friendless, cold and destined for death soon.