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Love, Unity, and Peaceful Living
Reflecting on the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: One Day after Sunday (Year A)
Psalter: Psalm 47
Old Testament: Genesis 22:15-18
Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Psalter: Psalm 119:161-168
Old Testament: 1 Kings 21:1-16
Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and be dependent on no one (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12).
Paul commends the Thessalonian believers for their love and emphasizes that they have been taught by God to love each other. This instruction reflects the central message of Christianity, which highlights the importance of love and unity within the community of believers.
Paul exhorts the church to increase in love. While acknowledging their existing love, Paul urges the Thessalonian believers to continue growing in love. The well of love has a supply that is inexhaustible. He encourages them to love even more, extending their care and concern to all of God’s family throughout the region of Macedonia. Love must not be limited only to those we know.
It is interesting that Paul counsels the Thessalonians to lead a quiet life. They are to live peacefully and orderly. This involves avoiding unnecessary strife, conflict, and disruptions within the community. By cultivating an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, they can create an environment conducive to the growth of their faith and witness to the outside world.
A peaceful and orderly life requires minding one’s own business. The Apostle is not referring to matters that pertain to the entire church community. Rather, the Thessalonians are to focus on their own personal affairs rather than meddling in the affairs of others. Such instruction promotes personal responsibility and the avoidance of gossip, unnecessary interference, and judgmental attitudes.
Paul finishes his counsel by emphasizing the importance of diligent and honest work. Apparently, some of the Thessalonian believers had come to believe that the Second Coming of Christ was soon to happen. These individuals had ceased tending to their daily responsibilities and were living off the labor of others. Christ’s return was not an excuse to mooch off of others. By engaging in productive labor, the believers can support themselves and their families, contribute to the well-being of the community, and avoid being an unnecessary burden on others.
Overall, Paul’s message in this passage is to emphasize the importance of love, unity, peaceful living, personal responsibility, and diligent work among the Thessalonian believers. These principles not only contribute to their own spiritual growth and well-being, but also serve as a positive witness to those outside the Christian community.
PRAYER: Lord God, friend of those in need, your Son Jesus has untied our burdens and healed our spirits. We lift up the prayers of our hearts for those still burdened, those seeking healing, those in need within the church and the world. Hear our prayers that we may love you with our whole being and willingly share the concerns of our neighbors. Amen.
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