9 Make every effort to come to me soon; 10 … Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. 12 But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments (2 Timothy 4).
Paul asked Timothy to bring him five things: himself, Mark, a cloak, the books, and the parchments. In his final days Paul desired the fellowship and service of two old friends, the comfort of an old cloak, the stimulus of some familiar books, and the use of new writing materials.
He needs these things “soon” because he believes his death is imminent. He had poured his life into Timothy and wanted to see him one last time. He had written off Mark for deserting him and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but now wants to make things right before he dies. And yet, because he has not given up on life, he wants a cloak for his own personal comfort and he wants books and parchments because he believes there is always work to do.
Lord, help us This Day to have the kind of attitude where we are ready to die, yet also ready to continue serving you. Amen.