Epaphroditus would have preferred to walk from Philippi to Rome. This was the stormy season, the time when cold winds from the north mixed with warmer air over the Mediterranean, causing sudden and violent tempests. As the temperatures plummeted and the wind and rain engulfed him, the young potter silently rebuked himself: No one in his right mind travels at this time of year. Not by sea. What were you thinking? Unconsciously, he felt beneath his tunic foe the belt at his waist and was instantly reminded of why he was on the ship. The belt was thick with mail addressed "To Paul," notes containing warm words of encouragement and prayers for Paul's quick release from prison. A few of the letters were longer, adressing deeper concerns about the church in Phillippe, raising issues only an apostle could resolve.
The Christians at Philippi were hurting. A stranger had triggered pandemonium in the church, spinning a web of deception and division. Leader had turned against leader, friend against friend. The Apostle Paul was their only hope.
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