Reading: 1st Thessalonians 3: 13-18
Verse 17: “And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
When we think of the end times or of the end of our earthly life, many people experience fear and worry. For many there is an unknown feeling that comes when we think of death. When a loved one or good friend passes on, some left behind wonder where that person has gone to and some even wonder if death is just the end. They grieve without hope.
In today’s passage, Paul reminds all believers of the hope and promise that is given to all who call on Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is a promise that we can live and trust into. Paul begins by cautioning us not to think as the pagan world thinks, as those who have no hope. Instead, Paul reminds us of the death and resurrection of Jesus that provides the way for all who die in Christ to gain eternal life. We too will one day experience resurrection into the glory and wonder of heaven. Paul tells the Thessalonians and us that this is true also for all who have already died in Christ. Paul assures them and us that our loved ones will also rise in Christ. In verse 17 he writes, “And so we will be with the Lord forever”.
Our passage today closes with these words: “Therefore, encourage one another with these words”. Paul exhorts us to take these words of hope and promise and to be encouraging one another with them. At times in our lives we need to remember and hear these words. Maybe that is today. We also know people who need to hear these words of hope and promise today. With whom and how can we share these words of hope and promise today? May we be open to the lead of the Holy Spirit as we seek to be Jesus’ light and love this day.