Reading other people's mail.

Sunday’s Epistle (1 Thessalonians) reads like the beginning of a very formal letter, which it is. 

Reading someone else’s e-mail or mail seems like something you shouldn’t be doing.  In some situations, it may even be illegal.  Which makes for a pathetic conversation with your new cellmate.

“What’re you in for?”

“Bank robbery, I got $30 million before they caught me.  What’re you in for?”

“Reading other people’s mail.”

And even if it doesn’t land you on the FBI’s Ten Least Wanted List, why bother reading what looks like an extended (and somewhat overdone) formal greeting but not the letter that follows it? 

It’s easy to miss it when you first see or hear it given the way Paul writes, but the formal greeting actually stops at the end of the first verse.  So what’s the rest of it? 

Paul telling us (by his example) how to support each other in being in the world, but not of the world.  More on this tomorrow.