people in thoughtful conversation

Reflecting on 2 Timothy 1 3-14

We’re studying 2 Timothy 1:3-14 this week. This was one of the lectionary texts for the Season after Pentecost last year, as a matter of fact. (Thought it seemed familiar.) Our curriculum encourages us to think about it from the perspective of tradition (see v5), and from the perspective of divine choosing or calling (see v9).

An overarching set of questions, to my mind, would be: What do we think Paul is talking about? Why – that is, how do we imagine the situation he’s speaking into? What does that have to do with us? [So, perhaps: do we see ourselves as being like Timothy, in this text, in any way? Or, like Paul in any way? What way or ways? How does this text address that?]

Some notes on the text are here. Here are a couple of additional questions we might want to consider, or discuss in class:

Would we say we ourselves have “sincere faith”? Who have been our ancestors in the faith? What have we learned from them?

Do we think of ourselves as having a gift, or gifts? Specifically any “spiritual gift”? Any that need tending or “rekindling”? What might we need to do about that?

Paul urges Timothy not to be ashamed of some aspect of [early] Christianity, or possibly of the fact that Paul is in jail – whether that means he actually is ashamed, or Paul is concerned he might be, or … Are we ourselves ever tempted to be ashamed of “the testimony about the Lord”? Or, other Christians? Why? What do we do about that?

In v9, Paul describes our calling in Christ “before the ages” – thoughts? Feelings? Impact on us?

In v13, Paul tells Timothy to “hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me” – thoughts? Feelings? Impact on us?

painting Men in conversation

Image: “The Conversation,” Arnold Lakhovsky, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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