Jeremiah 23:21-25:38; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17; Psalm 84:1-12; Proverbs 25:15
Standing Firm and Holding to the Traditions
It seems there was a problem for the church in Thessalonica. Apparently some nasty rumors were running amok that the Day of the Lord had arrived. Naturally, if you and I thought that cataclysmic events were about to rain down on us at any moment, we would be experiencing anxiety also. So, the Apostle Paul is writing to discredit these false claims and to encourage these Christians to continue by standing firm in their love and service.
I know that in our world and in our own day, as we watch the evening news or check the latest headlines on our smartphones, we too can wonder about such things. I have heard more than one person make dire predictions about the imminent end of the world. So what are we supposed to do? One choice is to get caught up in anxious (fearful) thoughts and to make decisions on these thoughts. The other choice is to “stand firm and hold to the traditions” (v.15) which have been handed down to us.
Those traditions are worship, prayer, fellowship, and, maybe especially in these circumstances, service to others. Nothing turns us from our worries about the future like being of service to someone in the present. When we do this, and we pay attention to the people very near to us who need our love and service, something wonderful happens. It is then we discover that we are serving Christ Himself, and as we find Christ in another, our anxieties tend to fade away.
How might finding Christ in the present affect your thoughts about the future?
The Rev. Gary Jackson
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church