"(7) Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. (8) I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. (9) He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here. (10) My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him. (11) Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. (12) Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. (13) I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. (14) Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. (15) Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. (16) After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read int he church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea. (17) Tell Archippus: 'See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.'"
Every word of Scripture is profitable for us, and that includes today' passage - the final greetings and instructions at the close of Colossians. Although reading a list of names may not seem edifying at first, doing so provides a lesson on living with a committed Christian community. The people Paul mentions are all examples of faithful servants of God.
For instance, Tychicus (vv. 7-8) brought Paul's letter from Rome to Colossae since the apostle was in prison. The distance is about 900 miles as the crow flies, but it was much father for Tychicus, who had to sail around Italy and across the Mediterranean Sea before traveling through Asia Minor on foot. Yet he faithfully endured the hardship in order to bring Paul's letter to the Colossians - and to us, since the epistle is now part of the New Testament.
Onesimus (v. 9) exemplifies a life transformed by Christ - this runaway slave was a valuable servant not only to his former master but also to Paul. Then Epaphras (vv. 12-13) was a faithful intercessor for the church in Colossae, and Luke was a committed companion to Paul during the apostle's travels and imprisonment. And Nympha is acknowledged for hospitality is opening her home as a meeting place fore the church.
In the New Testament, we're instructed to be faithful stewards, life transformed lives, pray for one another, serve humbly, and practice hospitality so Jesus' love is apparent to those who don't know Him. As the people in today's passage show, your actions can reflect Christ even more than words do.