Preparing for Sunday Worship: What Does it Mean to be the Church?
Much of the New Testament is comprised of letters. Personal correspondence between one individual and a variety of churches located around the Mediterranean. Most of these letters are composed by Paul. In his missionary and church planting work Paul would keep in touch with the fledgling congregations he helped start. He would provide teaching, encouragement and direction.
Our letter from 1 Thessalonians is one such letter. Scholars agree that this was probably Paul’s first letter and that it would have been written around 50 C.E. We should note that the letter opens indicating that Paul, Silas and Timothy are the authors and that throughout the letter the authors refer themselves as ‘we’. In this letter to the church we find a message of direction and encouragement. Within his letter we can find the hallmarks of what makes a church faithful to the teaching of Jesus Christ.
Text: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Questions to consider for Sunday:
- How does the opening of this letter make you feel?
- What characteristics can you find in this passage that indicate the church is being faithful to the teachings of Jesus?
- Is there a sense of expectation found in this letter?
A prayer for Sunday.
Eternal God, I come before you today full of humility. I seek to know more of you, your saving grace and your church. Guide my thoughts and allow me to embrace your word fully in my life. Amen.