1 Timothy 1:18-2:8
18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men [mankind - Greek word], the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelingMy great-uncle Tate was an Episcopal priest for close to 60 years mostly around Sherman, Texas. A well-educated Southern gentleman who stood about 6'2" with broad shoulders, strong Marlboro-man frame and a full, beautiful head of white hair. A man interested in all types of diverse subjects who loved the Lord with a passionate devotion. He had the most amazing collection of National Geographic Magazines - surely the Smithsonian would have loved his study.
Tate had black eyeglasses (exactly like the photo), I asked him once as a child if he didn't change them for a more modern brand because they matched his cassock. Rarely was Tate knocked for a loop, but he paused and said no it was because he used to have black hair. That floored me, I'd rather thought God and Tate looked like each other for a long time. I remember Tate raising his hands to pray over his congregation, one sight I hope to see again in Heaven (the best is yet to be!).
Tate was the best combination of worldly-wise and innocent dove. We were coming home from a christening and Tate was talking, driving, gesturing, leaving his "autooomobile" lane - a usual day. A man drove up to the driver's side, blared his horn and shot Tate the finger. Tate turned to smile and wave - the man caught sight of Tate's clerical collar and garb - immediately the other driver's car seemed to stop. Tate's smiling comment, as he waved was, "Must be one of my parishoners."
Tate was always unfailingly glad to see everyone. And how did Tate know how to deal with the parishioners who couldn't help out that day, Tate would boom his thanks into the phone, in a refined drawl, generous loud praise and quick exit off the phone. I was never grown enough to find this annoyingly leveled at me, but I loved, loved, loved it when he did this to my dad. ... And, oh, how it worked...
Tate suits this passage to a perfect fit. Tate read about war, loved guns he shot and crafted himself and he agreed there is a spiritual battle. Tate understood we all drift back and forth with our human nature from day to day. Tate never spent time trying to decide who was saved or unsaved, he knew "well indeed" that salvation belongs to Jesus Christ. Tate would have said he was an ambassador for God, welcoming long-time gone souls into the church, visiting widows, trudging to the hospital, cruising around Lake Texhoma in all types of "flotation devices".
God's word is living and active; in Paul's day with the ink wet on the parchment, in Tate's day, and today. All people need the Salvation of Jesus Christ and His mediation. We pray for our children and others to be saved and rejoice in the love God so willingly gives us. God gives Himself, not just to the earth angels making their Ambassadorship look golden, but to us the goy (gentiles) of the world!
Supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people - Ash Wednesday is a great start to great conversation. We are welcomed by God Himself and He treats us as the beloved child He will continue to give His word to.
Praise to You, God Most Loving!