Bringing Philippians to Life

Believe it or not, this actually is another real post you are getting notified about! Well, sort of. It’s not a science idea–it’s actually a school assignment that doesn’t really have all that much to do with theorizing. But since this blog is called The Christian Theorist, and most of you guys are writers anyway, I figured this would be appropriate. It is basically a very short short story, describing the events that might have happened around the time that Paul wrote Philippians. I hope you guys enjoy!

There was a knock at the door.

“Excuse me, Nona.” Paul shuffled to the door, his shackles clanking. Nona felt sorry for him. He was such a kind man; how could they keep him shackled like this? At least they let him rent a house, instead of keeping him in the jail. Still, the Roman guards at the door were a constant reminder of his lack of freedom. She couldn’t help but wonder what the Jews could have found so offensive about him that he would have to resort to appealing to Caesar.

“Justus! Epaphroditus! What’s wrong? What are you doing here?”

“We were on our way to bring you a gift from Philippi, and he fell ill.” Justus nodded to Epaphroditus, who was leaning heavily on his shoulder. “We figured Luke would probably be here, so we kept going, but he has gotten much worse. Is he here?”

“Yes, set him on the couch there. Luke! Come quickly!”

“What’s wrong? Oh!” Luke came rushing inside the back door of the small house, his brow furrowing at the site of Epaphroditus on the couch.

“What can we do?”

“Start some water heating, and bring me my tools.” Luke pressed his ear to Epaphroditus’ chest, while Nona hurried to heat some water. Paul knelt beside Luke and placed his hand on Epaphroditus’ forehead.

“Lord, bring our dear brother comfort.” He turned to Luke. “What is it?”

“Looks like pneumonia. He will be alright, but they should have stopped on the way for a doctor. Much longer, and their gift would have been used for a funeral. The Lord was watching over him. Thank you, Nona.” Luke dipped a cloth into the bowl of water Nona handed him, and placed in on Epaphroditus’ forehead. “He will be alright. Go talk with Justus.”

“Thank God for you, Luke. You are a true blessing to us. Justus, how long will you be here? I assume you need a place to stay?”

 

 

Paul sat down at his desk. His house was small, but he had made sure there was a separate room for prayer and writing. Luke spent a lot of his time here, compiling a history of their travels, but he was out entertaining their guests. Paul carefully laid out a sheet of papyrus, dipped his pen into the inkwell, and began to write. “This letter is from Paul.” He paused. Timothy probably wanted to send his regards, too. Poking his head out the door, he asked, “Where is Timothy?”

“He’s outside tending the garden,” Luke said. “Would you like me to call him in?”

“Please.”

Paul sat back down. “This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves to Christ Jesus. I am writing to all of God’s holy people in Philippi…”

“Yes?”

“Come in, Timothy. I am writing a thank you note to the Philippians, and I thought you would like to say something.”

Paul continued writing, Timothy leaning over his shoulder, making comments and suggestions. The smell of tar from the ink filled the air as Paul’s rough fingers traced over the papyrus. Occasionally Timothy would lean in closer with his hand on Paul’s shoulder, and Paul would wince. His years of missionary work had taken their toll on his body.

“…Epaphroditus was very distressed that you heard he was ill. And he certainly was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mery on him—and also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow after another.” The pen moved swiftly over the parchment. Paul was no stranger to writing—his years of training as a Pharisee had perfected his handwriting, so that even without a scribe, his letters were perfectly legible.

“…And all the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Caesar’s household. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”

“I bet they’ll love that comment,” Timothy put in. “I can hardly believe we converted the entire Praetorium.”

“The Holy Spirit converted them. We were just messengers.”