Reading: 1st Thessalonians 5: 1-11
Verses 5 and 6: “You are all sons of the light… let us be alert and self-controlled.”
The Thessalonians are awaiting the return of Christ. It has been twenty years and they are beginning to wonder. They wonder about whether or not He is coming in their lifetimes and they wonder about their loved ones who are dying in the interim. The anticipation of Christ’s return has begun to fade for some of the Thessalonians. As Christians today we should be looking forward to Christ’s return too, but praying for Jesus to return today is not at the start of most of our prayer times. For the most part, we live with the attitude that Christ could return today, but we do not live like He is returning today.
Paul’s words to the Thessalonians applies very much to Christians living in 2017. The world is full of darkness and there are many who will face destruction and who will not escape. They will be surprised when Jesus comes “like a thief in the night”. Paul reminds us that we are all “sons of the light” and that we belong to Christ, who is our light. Therefore, Paul says we should be “alert and self-controlled” as we live out our daily lives. There is the implication then that we will not be surprised when Jesus returns (or when we go to meet Him).
Paul goes on to write about how we are to live our daily lives as children of the light. He first says to put on faith and love as a breastplate. The breastplate protects the heart. If we begin each day by covering our heart with faith and love, then faith and love will be what guides our thoughts, words, and actions. Paul then says to put on the hope of salvation like a helmet. By doing so, we have the promise and hope of salvation right on the top of our minds, allowing that reassurance to be with us in all we do.
This day may we allow faith, hope, and love to be what others see as we live a s a child of the light. May we shine brightly into the darkness of the world this day, bringing our God and King to all we encounter this day.