Read 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13.
The Thessalonian Christians stuck out like a sore thumb. They were not like anybody! In their world, religion, business, and social position were all interconnected. Because they worshiped Jesus Christ, and not those other gods, they were considered not a part of the “in” group. They were no longer accepted in society. They were outcasts. Paul, in his letter to this church, gives thanks for them. He does so because they haven’t given in to become like everyone else.
Gone were there friends, their connections, and for some even their families. All because they choose Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
It may be hard for us today as 21st century North American Christians to understand this great loss due to our faith. The Thessalonian Christians knew that they were different because of Christ, and they remained strong in their faith despite all the crazy things people thought about them or did to them. This community faced its own set of challenges, but nothing could bring this community of faith down because of the cohesiveness they had together in Christ. They knew Jesus and they supported each other.
Today, think about how you are in need of support from your Christian community. What loss have you experienced that might make faith hard? But, also, think about how you can be supportive to others who may be going through a hard time. Decide how you will be supportive in the coming week. Journal about your experiences.
Dear God of Hope, be with us today as we search our hearts for ways in which we need support from our brothers and sisters in Christ. Help us to discern ways we can be supportive to others. In all things, remind us that we are reflections of you in all that we do. Amen.