“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.“ (Reference: 2 Timothy 2:11-13 )
I was trying to figure out what to say concerning this passage and the passage it is paired to in the book that our scripture passages come from this year. So I looked back five years to see what we said, and was presented with my own words. They were good words.
My focus at that time was a contrast of bearing witness as the historic Anabaptists did it and had to assume they would be persecuted for it and perhaps put to death, and bearing witness in our contemporary times where that simply meant living out a good authentic Christian life.
The excerpt for this scripture passage was a letter from Thomas van Imbroeck to his children and wife giving them advice about how to remain true to the doctrine they used to guide their lives. Even if it meant physical death. Five years ago I characterized both this letter von Imbroieck and Paul’s letter to Timothy as “dutch uncle” advice. I explained at that time that I was using this phrase “dutch uncle” to mean “Well-meaning and wise, trying to advise those he cares about.”
I said further, “Paul faced much persecution, but he also had much to say about living a good and accountable long life. This letter to Timothy shows that Paul was thinking about the next generation and how to prepare pastors for ministering in the years to come. Sometimes the Bible reads as a short instruction as to how to get through until Christ’s imminent return; other times it is an instruction manual for living out one’s life and the generations to come. And since we are multiple generations from both biblical times and the Anabaptists, it would be good for us to live our lives in a longitudinal way. Paul, being a good ‘Dutch’ uncle, writes so that his advice covers both the short term and the long term.” If you want to read what I said in its entirety just follow this link to “ Longitudinal Living “
The way I ending that posting remains true, and so I quote myself further beloved: “And remember, it takes just as much courage and conviction to life out one’s entire life span in the world as it does to face up to persecution, and witness in the face of it. May you bear witness in this life, and remain faithful to the complete and life-affirming message of Christ. Selah!”