Day 2 Read: Romans 1:8-10
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.
Reflect: How does Paul specifically bless the recipients of his letter?
Consider: Paul follows his opening greeting to the Christians of Rome with an expression of thanks. In many of Paul’s letters the section that follows the opening praescriptio is a thanksgiving. Such a section can be found in 1 Thess 1:2–5; Phil 1:3–8 (or 11); 1 Cor 4:9; and Phlm 4–7. In this thanksgiving, Paul prays in typically early Christian fashion: to God “through Jesus Christ.” He utters his gratitude to the God of the OT whom he still worships, though he writes as a Christian apostle. The reason for his utterance of thanks is that he realizes that the faith of Roman Christians is known worldwide.2
Respond: How do you practice encouraging your fellow believers in Christ? In what ways can you do better?
2 Joseph A. Fitzmyer S.J., Romans: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, vol. 33, Anchor Yale Bible (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2008), 243.