I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4:2-3
It’s bound to happen that fellow servants of the Lord will get sideways with each other, maybe over the smallest of things. Here two star performers were at odds in the church, Euodia and Syntyche. What was harmonious was now discordant, and Paul wouldn’t stand for it.
It must have really bugged the Apostle because he cared enough to call them out from afar. From this we know that these small cracks in the household of Christ can grow into major fissures, thwarting the “cause of Christ.”
A guy whose name meant “true companion” or “yokefellow” (actually his name was Syzygus), was enlisted to mend the rift. The peacemaking function in the church is a full-time process. Without it, little pockets of contention can merge to create a church at war within itself. So this window in is an important model to follow. See a little tension between servants, if so inclined by the Spirit of the Lord, and perhaps so supernaturally gifted, step in to resolve it in love. At this level, it’s nothing more than two musicians tuning up.
Actually, when you think of what’s required for harmony, it takes two distinct notes within the same chord. Sometimes tension is created by the selection of the two notes, but they still fit, if resolved. We could gather that these two women were stepping on each other’s notes, i.e. toes. Things ring out perfectly when all use their peculiar gifts in the Lord’s service, and not spend time vying for someone else’s space.
Perhap we can roughly apply the beatitude “blessed are the peacemakers” here. May their tribe increase!