Week 7 | 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 | Steve Bernard
“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”― 1 Thess. 1:3
“We have a role to play in God’s plan to unite heaven and earth, to advance the story of the world to culmination, and to see the earth cultivated into the garden city… God’s original intent for humanity has been restored in us through Jesus Christ. In the beginning, God called humanity to fill the earth and subdue it. He commissioned his image-bearers to carry his order, beauty, and abundance to the ends of the earth. This mission, frustrated and derailed by our rebellion, can now be reengaged as we are reconciled to God through the cross and made new in Christ.”– Skye Jethani
1 Thessalonians 1:1-3
1Th. 1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.
1Th. 1:2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Watch Eugene Peterson on the dignity of all work.
A reading of Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem "As Kingfishers Catch Fire", from Letters to the Exiles.
As Kingfishers Catch FireGerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985)
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.
I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is —
Christ — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.
LaDonna Witmer's "Kingdom of Cardboard and Spoils" by Dieter Zander
Is there something from today's readings or teaching where you sensed God speaking to you, or us?
How clearly can you answer the questions;
What impact does Jesus as Lord have on my work?
Who is my work serving? and
How is God using the difficulty of my work to build endurance in me and shape me to be more like Jesus?
Spend some time as a group unpacking insights from one of the two poems that illustrate how our work is good work when done with Jesus as King.
A closing prayer:
May the Lord and giver of life shape and form us to work by faith,
to serve in love, and to endure with the firm hope that Jesus is doing his work
and will one day come again to make all things right. Amen