‘Tychicus will tell you all about my activities...I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts.’ Colossians 4:7-8
Why do we get this odd bit of information at the end of Colossians?
Honestly, I have no idea. (Well, maybe a little guess, but you can ask me about that on Sunday).
Whatever the point of it is, I think it’s worth noticing that Paul is into sharing news – especially gospel news. It happens all over the New Testament. Team Paul are taking news of churches and gospel growth all over the region. Tychicus is at it again at the end of Ephesians (Ephesians 6:21) and Timothy is sent to the church in Philippi so that he can bring their news back to Paul (Philippians 2:19).
Now, part of the reason this information is included must be practical. These letters take time to travel around and there’s no instant messaging service with which to plan a spontaneous mission trip to Greece.
However, practicalities aside, what’s interesting in the letter to the Colossians is that Paul tells them why he wants them to know the news. Why would he send a couple of guys on a road trip to tell a church what he’s been up to? Their job is to update the church on what’s been going on, and how Paul is doing:
‘They will tell you of everyone that has taken place here.’ Colossians 4:9
And why does he do this? The answer is so that they’ll be encouraged.
Paul tells the Colossian Christians that he wants them to know this news to ‘encourage your hearts.’ (Colossians 4:8)
So what’s the lesson here? It’s simple – news from other Christians is encouraging! No matter what’s going on on the gospel-home-front, we can hear news of what God is doing elsewhere. And he’s doing loads!
At St Helen’s there’s no shortage of missionary news to be had. You can hear about how the Lord is building his Kingdom in Belgium, France, South Africa, Nigeria, Japan, and many more places.