1 Thessalonians 5:16-22
“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.” vss. 19-22
The little congregation huddled in the Greek city of Thessalonica was pretty much on its own. They had no constitution or synodical guidance. There were no rostered leaders or seminary trained pastors. The gospels hadn’t even been written yet and many of them were unfamiliar with the Hebrew scriptures. Undoubtedly they welcomed this letter from their founder, the now absent Paul. He tells them to cling closely to their faith…Jesus will be returning shortly…and not to quench the Spirit. We live in different times…we’ve got bishops and popes and thousands of rostered leaders…and we’re tempted to stifle the Spirit. We love living by our traditions and confessions and fear what might happen if the Spirit were unleashed. Who knows? We could even be led to abandon our denominations and be joined together in one holy and apostolic Church. The Spirit could undermine our cultural creeds and lead us to make scary stands on behalf of the poor and the needy. An unleashed Spirit could turn life right side up and how could we know what we should do? Paul says that it’s easy: just “hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.” All kinds of forms and creeds can change, but as long as we hold to those basics we’ll be just fine!
Thought for the Day: How can I know what is good?