1 Thessalonians 2:13-20 (NRSV)
13 We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you suffered the same things from your own compatriots as they did from the Jews 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out; they displease God and oppose everyone 16 by hindering us from speaking to the gentiles so that they may be saved. Thus they have constantly been filling up the measure of their sins, but wrath has overtaken them at last.
17 As for us, brothers and sisters, when for a short time we were made orphans by being separated from you—in person, not in heart—we longed with great eagerness to see you face to face. 18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, wanted to again and again—but Satan blocked our way. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 Yes, you are our glory and joy!
God of connections and relationships, we give you thanks for the relationships in our lives that bear fruit, that extend your great love to us and to the world around us. May we be mindful of the connection we have to you through those we encounter in our lives. May we extend your love and mercy to those around us in our daily interactions, turning away from causing harm and sin. Remind us that we are participants with you in your work in the world and follow you wherever your love leads. Amen.
Written by Rev. Margaret (Maggie) Alsup (she/her/hers),
College Chaplain and Director of Service, Lyon College (Arkansas)
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