Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; Hosea 6:1-6; I Thessalonians 1:2-10
“We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. ”
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 NRSV
In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul addresses this young church as friends, encouraging them to continue in their newly found Christian life. He gives thanks to God for their strong faith in turning toward a living God and away from idols in spite of their suffering. Paul spoke the word of God to them and in prayer, remembered their faith, their love and their hope.
“For we know, brothers and sisters, beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers…”
1 Thessalonians 1:4-7 NSRV
Paul continues, reminding the Thessalonians that they were chosen by God to share the gospel and live a life worthy of Him. With power and the Holy Spirit, they became messengers of the word, becoming a model for all people. Paul spoke of the coming of Jesus Christ from heaven as God had promised, giving them strength, courage and patience while they waited.
Paul’s message is timeless; it reminds us that we too have been chosen by God to actively seek and share Christ with others. God, through the Holy Spirit, has placed in us the power to change lives, to act and live what we believe. Are we prepared to be the messengers God asks us to be? Are we ready to serve a living God in the here and now while we wait?
Throughout this season of advent as we prepare and wait to celebrate the birth of the Christ child, we also prepare and wait for the second coming of Jesus Christ. And as we start to remove the clutter from our lives and prepare our hearts, let us respond to the Good News of God just as Paul and the Thessalonians did. May we too serve and wait with FAITH and LOVE, and be inspired by HOPE each and every day for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.
Offered on December 4, 2014, by Heidi Marcotte, mission leader, youth advocate, passionate listener, child of God.