This Sunday’ Epistle (1 Thessalonians) picks up where last Sunday’s Epistle left off. After the very formal greeting that opens Paul’s letter (see last Thursday), now we get the actual letter. And Paul begins with a shout out.
There’s a saying that (for no particular reason) gets attributed to Francis of Assisi – “Preach the Gospel at all times, when necessary use words.”
While there’s no evidence Francis ever said it, it’s a great thought. So what would it look like if someone actually did that, preached the Gospel so fully through their lives that people would get it, without them having to say a word? Sunday’s Epistle has the answer - the Thessalonians.
Paul gives them a shout out, because the way the Thessalonians live their lives is so compelling that when Paul shows up to tell people about Jesus, he doesn’t have to say a word. They have already seen it lived - by the Thessalonians.
More on this tomorrow.
* More good stuff like this at: http://fabiolagarza.deviantart.com/art/St-Francis-of-Assisi-245411214