“But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while” (Rom 15:23-24, NIV, 2011).
For Paul, Spain was the westernmost part of the known world. No one could ever fault the man for thinking small. And while he had never been to Rome, he planned only a brief stay there in order to get to Spain as quickly as possible; he had a job to finish. While the Bible doesn’t tell us that Paul made it to Spain, several ancient Christian writers outside the Bible do. But they also tell us that this tenacious little man was later arrested and eventually beheaded in Rome. Do you recall how at the beginning of Acts, Jesus told his apostles, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”? In other words, “You’ve got to get to Spain!” Unstoppable, this Good News, this good man, Paul. He spent his life connecting as many as he could for as long as he could, and as well as he could, to Jesus! And so, in the wake of his example, we pray, Lord, just how far do You want us to take this Good News today?