Be a Phoebe!
Terry Durose considers a little known character from the New Testament
Phoebe only seems to get one mention in the Bible:
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.” (Romans 16:1–2 ESV)
We learn a lot about Phoebe in these two short verses. First she held position of responsibility in her local church; she was a Servent or Deacon.
Secondly, she had been a patron of Paul and others. The word ‘Patron’ suggests that she had provided support to the missionaries of her day, either financially or in other ways.
As the Director of MCM this peaks my interest, especially as we consider the importance of essential Biblical partnerships between city missionaries and individual Christians and Churches.
The word translated 'Patron' means much more that someone who writes the occasional cheque, important though that is. In the original the word means someone who protects, assists or provides support in times of hardship or distress.
When life plays rough, you would do well to have a Phoebe in your corner. I know because I have benefited from having a number of ‘Phoebes’ in my life.
Finally Phoebe is commended by the Apostle Paul and considered worthy of welcome and support herself.
This suggests to me that we would do well to be a Phoebe to others.