“Because of our love for you we were ready to share with you not only the Good News from God but even our own lives”.
1 Thess 2: 8 GNB
A retired minister once spoke to a junior minister who had come to him for advice with a problem. He said, “You know brother, there is blood in our calling. Lots of people don’t realize that”. He meant that it is costly to minister to people. It is infinitely more than just standing up in a service and talking. The minister who doesn’t love the people to whom God has called him will be like “sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal”.
What drove Paul and the other apostles to endure shipwreck, endless walking journeys, stoning by mobs, misunderstanding by those to whom they preached the Good News, imprisonment, and often rejection? It was the love of Christ burning in their hearts, never quenched, never dying, never tiring, but ceaselessly beating, as Christ’s own love had done for them – and their awareness that they could never repay that love except by loving those to whom they went and preached.
And loving them meant sharing their lives – their time, their efforts, their energy, their drive, their hope, their faith. Love is the secret at the heart of the existence of the church of Jesus Christ. Christ’s love is the furnace that moves the engine of all human relationships in the church, whether in Thessalonica, London, Durban or Dundee. And all who come within its influence feel themselves compelled to become little fires of self-giving compassion. Stir that fire up. Keep it stoked and fuelled. Make it spread and grow and bring the warmth of God to others.
Lord, help me to share myself and your love with others.
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
Lord, so many people will be meeting with grief at this time of the year. Bless those who find themselves bereft of an important and close family member. Help them to find something positive to celebrate in the reflections on the coming of Christ. I ask it in Jesus’ name. AMEN