1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
“Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.” vs. 1
Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is the first of the New Testament “books” to be written and dates from about the year 51, just a little more than twenty years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. It provides a little window into the lives of early Christians and gives a sense of their delights and concerns. Paul’s choice of words in his greeting are telling, “Grace to you and peace.” Even today those words are heard in nearly every worship service…it’s the standard greeting of the Christian church. From the beginning two things have been at the center of the gospel message: an announcement of grace and the promise of peace. By faith we believe that our redemption is by the grace of God, an undeserved yet welcome gift, and that there’s nothing we need do to get it. When that grace takes root in our hearts by faith, we receive an overwhelming sense of peace, the serenity that we crave and desire above all else. Where grace and peace are present, the works of love will abound and the community will grow and prosper. Paul wants this little congregation of Gentiles to know that they are having an impact and that he is grateful beyond words for their faithfulness. And we too give thanks…these folks were there at the beginning, and through their witness, and that of countless others, the good news of grace and peace is still being heard.
Thought for the Day: What does peace feel like in my heart?