What a wondrous and up-lifting gift to the Christians of another day, to have Saint Paul himself offer such a touching prayer for all the believers in this community, Thessalonica. I love to read and re-read these uplifting verses that Paul wrote for those whom he was leaving. Saint Paul’s thoughts and words just seem to come alive in me as I read them over and over again. Of course, I have always been enliven by Paul’s thoughts in all his writings found in the Bible. My faith needs to be nurtured and fed by Paul’s living faith in Christ Jesus, the Lord and the very foundation of The Church.
When I take a close look at The Church, (written in caps indicates the church universal more than simply our church, First Presbyterian) it appears that The Church exists more for social functions than for guidance and direction in the Holy Worship of our Lord and Redeemer. Please know that I am not trying to simply be critical of The Church. This letter of Paul to the believers at Thessalonica speaks to me as to the Word of God coming to The Church today,
“May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly,” which in my mind would bring about a renewing of the community of believers needed in our day. From my personal perspective, it seems as if our Lord’s Church has turned itself into becoming more of a social gathering than The House of Worship it was and ought to be.
Reading Paul’s prayer for the church in his day speaks to us of our need for renewed consecration. As a part of His church, we need to keep our focus on what God had in mind for His Community of believers. As a church, we have been called into The Universal Church, as His followers to gather in worship, to offer our prayers, and to give our support. When we leave after worship we will be different, renewed and forgiven. After being in His presence all our fears and cares will be no longer, and life itself will be more joyfully and wonderfully lived. This will be so because we are His family.
Holy Father, as we gather together to worship You on Sunday; we humbly seek to have our faith as Your family here on earth renewed and made alive. In our Saviour’s name we pray. Amen.