Season After Pentecost, 2019 Year C : The Epistle Passage – Moving forward in doing the work of the Divine

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:1 – 2)

I was out to our local hospital, Sacred Heart PeaceHealth, today and they had new signs up coming and going from the large medical campus – “Peace as you enter here” and “Peace as you leave here”. I had not seen these signs before, so I think they are new. And I think I have the proper phrases; but in any case, the intent is the same. To bestow peace with a blessing. It is, or did, start as a group of nuns, Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. And for a business that run along lines of profit, they are actually pretty Christian-based. And does have its pros and cons. But . . . . I digress. My purpose in telling you this, beloved reader, is that Paul does much the same thing – gives and bestows a blessing on his readers in Thessalonica.

“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 everyone 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.” (Verses 3 – 4)

However . . . . as I ponder on this further, it is appropriate to consider the mission of the nuns who first started PeaceHealth along with other agencies and organizations that felt the call to do something for others. Paul commends the believers in Thessalonica for caring for one another, and boasts about their doing so. One wants to believe that their “love for everyone” manifested itself in “good works”. Further, one (yes, me) wants to believe that these “good works” were on behalf of not only other believers but others in their community. I did read that Paul commends their “steadfastness and faith” in spite of being hounded for their faith. Perhaps their faith was so evident because of their good works?

To this end we always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Verses 11 – 12)

Faith, at its best, is not done in a vacuum – that is, the result of one’s faith is seen in one’s life. And is seen in how you relate to others, organize your lives, and set your priorities. It is my opinion that is how we become worthy of the call of the Divine. Yes, we have to have faith – believe in the Lord God. But as one of the other apostles wrote, faith without works is dead. The Lord Jesus is not glorified, beloved reader, by the faith that is “burning” in our hearts. The glory comes when that passion is lived out.

May you, beloved reader, be prayed for and blessed. And may you feel that blessing such that you are moved to carry out the mission that the Divine has placed in YOUR heart! Selah!

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