Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
Key verses: (12-19) 12But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; 13esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. 15See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit.
Reflection: In the letter to the church at Thessalonica, we read some of the apostle Paul’s earliest instructions for believers. He writes to a group of faithful followers of Jesus, encouraging them in their life together. It’s an active kind of faith to which he calls them. Not cerebral or solitary. The verbs in this passage require action in community. The faithful are called to respect, esteem, admonish, encourage, help, be patient, do good, rejoice, pray, give thanks.
What if we had these kinds of verbs in mind every time we stepped onto our church grounds and entered our buildings? What if we recalled them and practiced them in our interactions with one another outside the buildings — in the community, over the phone, by email or online? What if we remembered and lived them out in our lives with everyone whom we encountered? The words and actions that show who we are might look different.
What will you do today? Whom will you meet or greet? How will you follow the call to live as God’s beloved? Perhaps we can all encourage each other by our words and our lives to live in the kind of community Paul envisions.
Prayer: Lord, help me not quench your Spirit. Help me love my sisters and brothers in faith. Teach me to give thanks in all circumstances, and do good to all. In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].