Philemon, pt.1

This week we are reading Paul’s letter to Philemon. Philemon is the practical application of what Paul taught in Colossians. It is the story of Philemon, a Christian slave owner, and Onesimus, his recently baptized slave, both of whom live in Colossae. Onesimus had run away from Philemon leaving a trail of destruction, and had sought out Paul in prison where he was baptized. Paul sends Onesimus back to Philemon accompanied by this letter (and probably also by Tychius). Within this letter, Paul shows the practical application of the gospel teaching to a situation that would normally result in Onesimus’s death or severe physical punishment. For your review, I have attached the sermons of John Chrysostom on Philemon. Please read Chrysostom’s Overview of this letter, and if you have time, please read the accompanying sermons as they provide a close reading of this short letter.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is sandwiches. Since this is the last study in this unit, we will end with either Evening Prayer or Communion (if I can locate an available priest). If you haven’t been in a while, please come back for this last week of study of Paul’s prison letters, and, since it is a new book, please bring a guest.

On a programming note, we will continue meeting on Tuesday nights at my house in the autumn (the word “fall” has a technical meaning in a Christian bible study group). Trinity may start a Wednesday small group program in September. From our discussion last night it is my understanding that we wish to keep our same schedule and location. If you might be interested in leading a small group at Trinity, which I would encourage you to do, please talk with Chris Bear as the clergy at Trinity are looking to train new small group leaders. Also, if you want to take part in a small group at Trinity on Wednesday night, please look for additional information from the church.

Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our beloved fellow worker.

Philemon 1

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