Paul wrote this love letter to his new friends in groovy Thessalonika. When he first met them they were pleasure-chasing, in-it-to-win-it N-O-N-E Nones. Then they stayed up all night together talking about Jesus, and lightning struck. It was love-bomb, first-kiss, summer-camp sparks. They were a human bonfire of kindness. Then when morning came, Paul left them for another city.
The fire of their new faith flagged against the chill of a hip and cynical world. They were worried that without him, they’d lose that high-as-a-kite religious feeling.
And so Paul writes to them: don’t mistake the messenger for the message. You don’t need me. You have each other. You have a God who is real, who was walking around in the world five minutes ago and will come back when you least expect it. But don’t sit around waiting. All you need to do, to keep the fire alive, is act like Jesus, and then he’ll be there.
- What do you think will happen if you open yourself to joy and suffering?
- What does it mean to you for Christ to weave “everything into life and into love?”