9 December 20171 Thessalonians 3:6-13
“But Timothy has just now come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love. He has told us also that you always remember us kindly and long to see us—just as we long to see you.” (v. 6)
Psalm: Psalm 136:1-9
Paul had been genuinely concerned about the welfare of the Thessalonian Christians and his relief at being told that all was well is evident in his words. Although he cannot travel freely, it is clear that he wishes he could and that he would love to hear their news at first hand and to join with them in fellowship.
One of the joys - and sometimes one of the hazards - of being a part of the Church is that wherever you go there is the possibility of finding a new group of Christians to meet with as part of an extended family. Paul found this in his travels, as have many Christians since. But there can be problems. Sometimes doctrines and teachings can get in the way, if there is misunderstanding or inflexibility. Occasionally the welcome may be polite, but not exactly warm, which can be discouraging. And because there are so many different ways of worshipping, it may prove uncomfortable if the particular form that you encounter is not exactly your style. In rare cases, a church may have taken a completely wrong turn and it appears that the conduct and character of the fellowship are un-Christian.
But Paul has found joy in the news from Thessalonica and we should always ensure that we give thanks to God for those who have shared their lives and faith with us.
Thank you, loving God, for all those who have walked with us on the way of faith
and who have encouraged and strengthened us in the work we do together.
Some of those people have made a real and lasting impact on our lives;
others have only been with us briefly, but have left a memory
that has changed our outlook, or attitude.
Some have walked with us through difficult times of grief, perplexity and anxiety
and have been reliable companions just when we needed them most;
others have shared the good times with laughter, joy and celebration
and have made the experience much richer for having been there.
Some have been a constant presence - part of life itself -
and the imagination, or actuality, of the pain of parting has left a gaping hole that can never be fully filled.
For all these friends and families and the fellowship that we have shared,
we are truly grateful.
Bless each and every one and may we all continue our pilgrimage of hope
until your promises to us are fulfilled.
- Who has walked the road of faith with you and what particular reason do you have for giving thanks for them?
- When times are hard and you need comfort and counsel, who do you trust?