• Brief Comments
Like Timothy, Titus was an important associate of Paul. Like the letters 1 and 2 Timothy, that person is most likely not the author or the recipient of this letter. Rather the name is evoked as a means of respect and a call to order ourselves within the tradition, receiving the mantle passed down through decades of leadership. This letter is about Christianity as an institution. The text presupposes there are Christian slaves of Christian masters – a very different situation than we saw in the early letters by Paul.
• Big Picture
Movements becoming institutions are a fact of human life. The change has benefits and problems. It is true of Christianity as a whole and of Methodism. It is true of individual congregations and even our personal relationships. We struggle between comfort and challenge, between inward and outward focus, we struggle to maintain the energy and enthusiasm. We also cherish tradition, patterns and “the way we do things.” One of the things I appreciate about the pastoral letters is how, read in the larger context of the NT and all of Scripture, that they highlight this reality and yet also invoke the very reasons for our gathering as communities of faith.
Blessings on your reading!