Tuesday 01 December 2020

Bible Book:
1 Thessalonians

We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers (v. 2)

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 Tuesday 1 December 2020

Psalm 34:1-10


For the remainder of this week we are reading from Paul’s first letter to the young church at Thessalonica, an important centre for Roman power and commerce in Macedonia. It is probably the earliest Christian document that we have, written only a few years after the ministry of Jesus, and so it brings us very close to some of the first people to call themselves Christian. These first lines have the shape of a conventional opening for a letter in the Greek-speaking world of the first century. From a short greeting (‘Grace to you and peace’) Paul moves on to an extended thanksgiving which focuses on the Christian character of his readers. Through the power of the Holy Spirit they have become shining examples of what a Christian life can be. They are – to use a modern idiom – walking the walk and not just talking the talk. They have turned from one way of life to another and now they have a persistent joy and a confident hope centred on the person of Jesus Christ.

Notice that these verses end with a note of expectation that resonates with the Advent hope and with Sunday’s reading from Mark’s Gospel: the risen Jesus comes from heaven to bring salvation. It seems that these first Christians expected Jesus to return any moment and so were anxious to be ready.

To Ponder:

  • Imagine you are writing to your closest friends. What do you want to give thanks for?
  • What might people learn about the Christian way of life from seeing and listening to you?
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