Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to do what is proper, yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— Philemon 1:8-9
The apostle Paul arranges the reconciliation of a slave to his master. Onesimus had been separated from Philemon and somehow met Paul. He was converted and became a believer. Paul wanted Philemon to recognize the new relationship he would have with Onesimus, whom he describes as ‘no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother’. What a radical idea. One that depicts our new relationship with Jesus Christ who said ‘No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.’ John 15:15 I remember the first time I heard my Indian friend Peter Pugazhendi pray “Master Jesus…”, it caught me off guard, but I loved it.
How do I relate to God in this new relationship of mine. I am a servant of His, yet in Christ I am a friend of God. I am trying to find that perfect balance of knowing God in a personal way, while still recognizing that He is a consuming fire and the maker of the universe.
God, how odd it must seem to the outsider to think of You in such terms and to converse so freely. Yet, this is what I believe You have called me to. Today, I need Your wisdom and grace and truth in all my interactions with others. Oh help me be the oracle of God. Thank you that You are my master and my friend.