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 Epistle reading for this week, from 2 Thessalonians 3:1-13, struck me in an unusual way as I reviewed it. I recently had a discussion with a young man who is often involved in heated debates with some people who are on the fringes of American culture. During our discussion I formed the impression that his concern for prayer could certainly be summed up in verses 1-2. In his case, some of the “wicked and evil men” would easily be seen as bearing hostile intent. In my typical settings, it is not so obvious. However, the picture the Bible paints of our world is that, since the events of Genesis chapter three, humanity as a whole has been at enmity with God, and, by extension, with God’s servants. In my country this is generally shown by an incredulity that anybody would seek out a lifestyle in conformity to the revealed will of God or that we would consider Scripture in context to be the authority for how life and culture works bets. This is ultimately as dangerous a situation as the overt hostility shown by a small number of people. It allows those ruled by a fallen nature to pass as normative and not harmed by the fall.
All unbelief in Christ is harmful. Falling prey to its deceptions is deadly in the end. How do we fight against this power of evil? Through prayer and trust that the faithful Lord will guard his creation, especially his people who believe in Him (verse 3). What is our prayer? According to verse five it is that our hearts will be conformed to God’s love and the steadfast nature of Christ’s redemption. It is this kind of stability that motivates countless people to love and serve their neighbors. It is this that sterngthens families, results in stable communities, and finally helps others find hope in God’s redeeming love through Christ.
Pray for us, that we may bring Jesus and His care to our lost and hurting world, no matter the setting we find ourselves in.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.