1 Thessalonians 3:6-13
6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. 7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? 10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
What a wonderful description of community. Paul is so excited to hear about these people when Timothy returns from seeing them. He talks about how much he cares about them, that he remembers his visit and that he is keen to visit again. He tells them how much their faith has encouraged him and hopes that those thoughts encourage them too. Then he prays for them – the only thing he could do given the circumstances.
How do we feel about the people God has put into our world? Do we get excited to hear how things are going for those around us? Do we talk to God about those around us – thanking Him for their influence in our lives, praying for God’s love and grace to overflow in their lives? This is a great picture for us to meditate on. God gave us relationship – with Him and those around us. Here is a picture of what He thinks that means. We can all get better at building relationships. Let’s take Paul’s example to help us focus around us and to be passionate about building community every day.
Lord thank you so much for building us for community. You know how tricky it can be for us to focus on love and grace in our relationships when things don’t go as planned or we get treated badly. Help us Lord to learn how to be focused on building people even when some relationships don’t go well. Help us every day to look for your help to build community with those You have brought into our worlds. Amen
Written by Therese Manning