Scripture Reading—I Thessalonians 5:1-11
I Thessalonians, was in all likelihood, the earliest written document in the New Testament. Paul wrote to Christians not far removed from Christ’s first coming and who believed his second coming would happen in their lifetimes. They faced two dangers to their faith—living in constant fear over Christ’s sudden appearance on the one hand, or becoming complacent and sleepwalking through life on the other. Though most of us don’t live with the sense that Christ’s coming to judge the living and the dead is imminent, we face the same problem in living as faithful disciples. We can become afraid that the signs of the times indicate God’s displeasure with us, or we become so consumed with just making through the day that we give little thought to things of ultimate importance. For me, the latter is the biggest problem—getting so preoccupied with meeting the obligations of the moment that I forget the bigger picture. But many of us have had experiences that jar us into remembering that there is more to this life than just earning a paycheck or living for the next vacation. Unfortunately, it is sometimes a crisis that makes us ask what is really important—losing a job, a broken relationship, or a grave illness. One of the reasons we need other Christians is to help us remember what is important. Paul writes that we should always be encouraging one another in our faith. He’s right, isn’t he? Life’s boredom and life’s crises are better handled when loving Christian friends are nearby to encourage ua to keep focused on what is of ultimate importance and to help us claim the joy and peace that comes from being God’s child right now!
Thought for the day: Whether we are bored with life’s routine or overwhelmed by its challenges, we can help one another remember who and what is truly important.
Prayer: O God, it is easy to forget your presence on one hand and to fear it on the other. Help us to encourage one another in moments of forgetfulness and in moments of fearfulness. Help us to help each other be aware of your presence, your purpose, your gifts, and your call in the midst of life’s ups and downs. Amen.