Scripture Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4; 11-12
We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. –2 Thessalonians 1:3-4
I sat down with several women from my church recently and said and meant, “What a wonderful crowd of witnesses!” To which one replied, “I’m not dead yet!” I think that rather proved my point as she is obviously a Bible student. The reference was to Hebrews 12:1 referring to all the saints who had died and paved the way for our service today. I think the writer of 2 Thessalonians, using Paul’s standard salutation in our scripture today, would agree that we also should equally praise those actively serving God in real time and that they too are a great crowd of witnesses.
Everyday Christians go about the business of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison, helping the sick, and welcoming the stranger as a normal part of their lives. Most Sunday mornings, I see a 90+-year-old man drop a sack of canned goods in the cart at the entrance of our church for distribution at a food closet with whom we partner. Every Thursday volunteers cook and deliver with love mobile meals to 30 or so homebound elderly and disabled people. The school for which we have been providing mittens, gloves, and hats each year let us know they have enough from last year to meet their needs. This year we will be targeting our donations toward gloves and hats for the homeless at a local shelter that we already help with steel-toed boots to enable their participants to work. Join with me in being thankful for these acts of love engrained in these witnesses’ faith DNA.
Prayer: Lord, when we as your followers each do our part in your service, all have an opportunity to experience your abundant life. Thank you for the gift of service. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.