1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Text for Reflection
Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, so that you may behave properly towards outsiders and be dependent on no one.
In this chapter, Paul teaches about living a holy life before God, and in today´s text, he reaches the climax of a sanctified life. The Thessalonians are first reminded that he ought not to write to them about love because 1. The love of Love has been taught to God-fearing people as far back as in the Pentateuch. Therefore, they already know it and hence he is just reminding them. 2. They have already demonstrated their love for the sisters and brothers in Macedonia. Therefore, he is urging them to do more. He further exhorted them to live a quiet life, mind their own affairs and work with their own hands. What was happening here? here is what Brent Kercheville has to say,
Loving others means living peaceful lives that are free from hostility and conflict toward others. We live quietly, not drawing attention to ourselves. We live in a world right now that really encourages us to make a lot of noise and draw lots of attention to ourselves, especially with the advent of social media. But Christians are not looking for a crowd. We are not looking for attention. We are not desiring people to look at us. In terms of minding our own affairs, Paul is not encouraging us to be selfish. We do not meddle in the affairs of others. We are not nosy, desiring to know everything that is going on with everyone else. Meddling is not loved. We can have a preoccupation of wanting to know what everyone else is doing. We want to know what is going on in their lives. We want all the gossip. We want all the details. It is not that we are showing genuine care for the person but we are gratifying our own desires of wanting to know and be in the loop. We want to be “in the know.” But this is not love.
The advent season is time for preparing for Christmas, how do we prepare for Christmas? This is the time to extend God´s love by remembering those who are living in difficult situations in their lives and especially those in places where they are wars, famine, and conflicts.
Let Us Pray.
Speak into the life of this our church, O God.
Speak in ways that teach and enlighten,
for we believe that every day holds a new promise
in the wonder of your life with us.
Speak to us now, Holy Spirit.
In the name of Christ. Amen.