1 Thessalonians 4:9-18 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, (10) for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, (11) and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, (12) so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. (13) But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (14) For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (15) For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. (16) For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (18) Therefore encourage one another with these words.
I tend to lunge. I want to be part of a radical revolution seeing the whole world unite in Christ through our stridency; then I get discouraged because there is more noise than substance. I then want to withdrawal and just live a quiet life. But then I wonder about meaning, purpose, responsibility. What to do?
- Brotherly love, powered by God, is a good investment of time and energy. Loving God (giving and receiving) becomes the source of loving those who love him. I find i want to criticize the brothers in Christ mainly because I am unsatisfied with this or that and would rather blame ‘them’ than myself. Nope. Must love; even more.
- Stop getting worked up with what everyone else is doing. Instead, I need to quietly do what I should do. God has provided opportunities for me to work so I should take those opportunities and do them without a bunch of hype and see what happens.
- Realize that life and death, in Christ, are not without hope. Somehow it is going to end up where what (and who) is hidden in Christ will be returned in fullness.
The resurrection should be my hope this week to avoid delusion or despair and settle for dignified diligence out of love for the brothers. (now I want to ask about the brothers’ and non-brothers, and…)
Love/work/hope … repeat… love/work/hope…