A Letter of Encouragement
On Sunday I preached on Paul who is the author of many of the books in our New Testament.
The writings we have from Paul are letters written to the churches he helped to begin in various cities.
On Sunday we talked specifically about his journey to Thessalonica. After Paul had spent time in a city and a church began there he wanted to continue to stay I contact with them after he was gone. So Paul sent Timothy to Thessalonica to see how they were doing.
After Timothy returned back from his trip and told Paul of some of their struggles they were having. They were struggling and loosing hope because of the criticism they were receiving for being believers and followers of Jesus.
So Paul wrote them a letter of encouragement. This specific letter of encouragement to the Thessalonian Jesus followers clearly didn’t get crumpled up and tossed in the trash, but was cherished and shared with so many others as a word of encouragement also that it is now part of our New Testament.
1 Thessalonians is thought to be the oldest book in the New Testament and possibly the first letter that Paul wrote to an early church. Its purpose was to encourage them to continue to do what they were doing even if it was hard and to hang on to hope. Check it out! It’s only 5 chapters long.
In addition, I wanted to write a little letter of encouragement to you all today:
To the Church of Jesus Christ, wherever you are this day,
Grace to you and peace.
We always give thanks to God for you and mention you in our prayers giving thanks for all that you are doing to keep hope alive in these time.
This will be a pivotal time for the Church right now; an opportunity for the Church to be the Church in the world in so many ways because we are not confined to a building. Our choices and the way we are sharing love and spreading hope may open doors for others to know Jesus.
In spite of the challenges that we are facing, in spite of the grief we are feeling over so many cancelled plans, you are doing such a great job in sharing the love of Jesus Christ as you love your neighbors (those you know and those you don’t) in so many different ways.
You are helping others to feel encouraged and to face the day ahead in all the little ways you are sharing hope and love..
There will likely be days that you feel you are flaying and failing; days that you are weepy and sad. Remember that it’s OK to rest. God is still proud of you.
Remember also that we are all in this together and that God is still good.
Do not cease in the ways you have been sharing hope and love because it is making a bigger impact than you know.
Every time you do something, no matter how big or small, to simply show others love, kindness, and hope, you are bringing the love of Jesus into that persons life and drawing closer to Jesus yourself.
Be encouraged. Be well. Be at peace.
Grace be with you,