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Weekly Reflection

(09-23-2004)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Please read this passage in your Bible or follow it as a link: First Thessalonians 5:1-10

My mother lives in the suburbs of Atlanta. While I was visiting there last Christmas, I noticed a billboard that just astounded me. In the center of the bill board there is this huge stern-looking Jesus. He’s got that parental look on his face that a mom or dad will shoot across the room to bring an errant child back into line. To the left of Jesus are the words: “Either you are for me or against me.” To the right of Jesus are the words: “Against me. There’s Hell to pay.” I just can’t believe that someone would put those words into the mouth of the kind, loving Jesus. Can you imagine Jesus saying that to the woman caught in adultery, Zacchaeus, or blind Bartimeus? Or to you? Whoever sponsored that billboard does not know the Jesus that I know.

Paul tells us that we are not destined for wrath, but for salvation. The Thessalonians were worried that when the end came they might be destroyed along with everyone else. Paul reassures them and us that God loves us and will save us. Now to be saved by God does not mean that if we are in trouble the solution will fall out of the sky. Being saved by God means that we trust God to wrestle the good out of the situations we struggle with at home, work, or school. There are times when it seems all get is wrath and there will be no end to it. Paul, however, proclaims to us that is not our fate. God will bring salvation for our minds, bodies and souls in the here and now. Keep struggling to bring about the good. God is there struggling with you because you have been destined for salvation.

Pray that God will be active in your life, wrestling the good out of suffering and toil, for the sake of the whole people of God.

Christ’s Peace,
Pastor Scott
412-682-6886

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