The apostle Paul met a young man named Timothy while traveling in Turkey. The two struck up a close relationship that lasted a lifetime. But it might not have always been easy. Together, they dealt with issues of an interracial marriage, reputation, traveling, and even minor surgery. The result of it all, though, is what we seek, too: strengthening in faith. Welcome, brothers and sisters, to the means by which the Spirit does that: the gospel in Word and sacrament.