Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our reading from 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 this week is not merely a greeting. It does have those elements, as it is the start of a letter from the apostle Paul to a congregation in Thessalonica. But what we want to notice especially is the prayer the apostle prays for the people.
The apostle recalls before God the way the Thessalonians have been living. They have been changed by Jesus and His hope. Therefore, they are working in their community for the good of all. Why is this? In verse five we see that they are able to do this because the Holy Spirit is working in them.
The Thessalonians have turned from idols. They have departed from the paganism of their time. They have found hope which lasts, in an immutable God who has revealed himself clearly. In our subjective age, where we are told to trust ourselves, trust our hearts, and follow our desires, but we have no clear measure of what that means, we’re in critical need for the definitive revelation of God. We follow a sort of idolatry. Our priorities are largely made up by our imagination. This is a recipe for frustration, for anxiety, for disaster. What do we do?
Thanks be to God, He has given a clear revelation of himself in Scripture. We can look to those words, study them, review them, and seek wisdom which will allow us to structure our lives rightly. By the Holy Spirit, he will help us know the confidence the Thessalonians had. May we ever be receiving from God’s mercy and serving our neighbors in this world.
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