1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.” vs. 12
Paul wrote words of encouragement to the new believers in Thessaloniki, urging them to continue in faith and not worry about the future. He included some practical advice about living in Christ and told them that not even death could separate them from the Lord. He has been astounded by the love he saw while living among them and makes that love the central theme of his letter. While he has definite opinions about doctrinal issues he believes that love is the most important attribute of any faith community. And we agree! There is nothing that fills our hearts more completely than the unconditional love and affection we experience in our congregations. Love not only pulls us into a community of faith, love keeps us there. And it’s not just being a part of a tight-knit exclusive religious clique! Paul tells us that the love which defines Christian community is for all people, not just those sitting in the pew with us from one Sunday to the next. Love keeps us looking outward and forces us out of our comfort zones and into the world. It’s the deep caring that Jesus showed in his ministry to the least and the lost. Love drives us to embrace the strangers who show up in worship and welcome them home. A congregation where love abounds is the kingdom of heaven on earth!
Thought for the Day: How is love demonstrated in my community of faith?