Thursday, June 28, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

CHURCH — A COMMUNITY OF COVENANT
1 Thessalonians 3:11-4:2

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy ... (1 Thess. 3:12)
 
1 Thessalonians is an epistle, a public letter in the sense of being addressed to a whole group, but at many places it reads more like a personal letter to an individual, as it highlights the relationship between the author and the recipients. The purpose of the letter is usually to inform, and this letter informs the Thessalonian church about Paul's feelings toward them, events in his own life and Christian doctrine and practice. The most prominent theme in 1 Thessalonians is the second coming of Jesus. It is mentioned in every chapter of the book.
Paul's joy towards the Thessalonian Church: Thessalonica was the proud capital of the Roman province of Macedonia with a population of over 100,000. It was a free city and was governed by local officials. Religiously, the city was committed to the Greco-Roman pantheon and the imperial cult. Paul, Timothy and Silas preached in the Thessalonian synagogue and a number of Jews and God-fearing gentiles believed (Acts 17:4) Paul fruitfully ministered to the pagan gentiles but later had to face difficulties and was forced to leave Thessalonica. Paul was concerned for the new Christians, and therefore a few months later he sent Timothy back to Thessalonica. Timothy reported that generally the church community was doing well. When Paul heard Timothy's positive report, he was filled with joy and he immediately began writing 1 Thessalonians chapter 3 with the purpose to repair the hope of the Thessalonians. He gave the assurance that that they were those selected by God for salvation.
A Community up to God's expectation:Paul encourages the people and thanks them for living Christian life correctly. Chapter 3:11-13 is a pastoral prayer for the Thessalonians - his converts. He prays that he may be able to revisit the community and that the Thessalonians may abound in love with the result that thy may be blamelessly holy at Jesus' second coming. Paul exhorts that each one of us ought to work hard to please God. In Chapter 4 Paul gives instructions on pleasing God. Paul calls on the Thessalonians to please God by living in holiness and love. We as a church are a called out community. God has placed us on this Universe with a great expectation. And the question that we have to ask ourselves is that, "Am I living up to God's expectation?" The Bible says: we are Christ's ambassadors. What impact will your life have on the generation that follows you? How many lives will you touch while you have the privilege to walk in this planet?
'Live your life in such a way that the significance of your life may extend beyond your life time'.
George Bernard Shaw was asked on his death bed "what would you do if you could live your life once again" He reflected and then replied. "I would like to be the person I could have been but never was".
Prayer:
Lord, help me to be the person that I ought to be and let my walks and deeds please you. Help me to see my life on earth as you desire and to do good in all the days of my life.Amen.
 
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
The Church journeys towards becoming the living body of Christ.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church