All Saints Sunday / Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost
Week of: November 3, 2019
Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12
Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring.
(1 Thessalonians 1:4, NRSV)
It means a lot when someone gives you a compliment, but it means just a little more when you hear that someone was boasting about you to someone else. It is a good sign when people are willing to share their positive opinions of you, your abilities, personality, and your thinking with others. They are genuinely thankful for the person you are, what you do, and how you do it.
According to Paul, the church of Thessalonica was winning. They weren't just growing in numbers, they were growing spiritually in faith and love as well, despite the hardships they faced. Paul used them as an example to the other churches he was shepherding and boasted about their "steadfastness and faith." It had to be a huge encouragement to the Thessalonians. It was also a template for the other churches to follow.
Let's take a different approach to this scripture. God is the epitome of steadfastness and faith. Like Paul bragging about the Thessalonians, do we compliment God to others? In our worship, in our planning, and in our daily lives do our actions brag of God's goodness? When you dance, sing, act, read, move, smile, and breathe does your being boast of God? What you do is a true gift from God, so using it to the best of your abilities is bragging on God's wondrous and amazing grace.
Almighty God, may my actions boast of your greatness, and may that boasting encourage others to seek and know you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Director of Worship and Music Arts
Ooltewah United Methodist Church
Photo: Dancers rehearse prior to worship at St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City during The Fellowship's 2019 Convocation, "A Place at the Table." (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)