In the first chapter of this letter, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy talk about how they must thank God for the growing love and faithfulness of the church in Thessalonica, and how they are confident that when Christ returns, their persecutors will be cleared out, and they will have a clear path to God.
At the end of this letter, with Paul prepared to die and Timothy his primary apprentice, the letter is focused on handing off the ministry from one who has finished the race to one who has a long time left to go. We find a call to look at our own vocations, where God is…
We take a brief detour into the Luke reading this week and find Jesus encouraging us to bring our experiences of injustice, our frustration, our pain to God in prayer. We are invited and instructed to assault God with our prayers. Will we do so? Or will we lose faith?
As we begin our tour of 2 Timothy, we take a hard look at shame. As Paul tells Timothy not to be ashamed of Christ or of Paul’s chains, we find that these are important words in an honor-shame culture, and important words in our culture, still filled with honor and shame.
As we continue to wrestle with the way 1 Timothy calls for the maintenance of the culturally expected social hierarchy of its context, we find that God is inviting us into the fullness of life that is possible when we are content and godly, and urging us to avoid being distracted from the gospel by…
We shift, with Hebrews, from faith to holiness. Coming to recognize that Christ is the perfecter of our life and faith, we discuss our call to respond to the sanctifying work of Christ by allowing ourselves to be made holy.
We continue to talk about faith, remembering that the faith we have (however big or small) is no different than the faith of those who have come before. So we run the race with perseverance (not necessarily speed), allowing that bit of faith we have to drive us forward.
We come to the conclusion of Revelation (and the conclusion of the canon!), and we find that ultimately, this is a book of hope. We are invited to “come” and hear the good news of the gospel. Come and leave this world behind, trusting that the next one is coming. Indeed, it is here.
We look at what it means to be faithful even as times get difficult.