Tag Archives: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Look Out

We want to know when.  We kid ourselves that if only we knew when, we would be ready and prepared.  But would we?  Will we ever be ready for God’s return?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (CEV)

I don’t need to write you about the time or date when all this will happen. You surely know that the Lord’s return will be as a thief coming at night. People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them like the pains of a woman about to give birth. And they won’t escape.

My dear friends, you don’t live in darkness, and so that day won’t surprise you like a thief. You belong to the light and live in the day. We don’t live in the night or belong to the dark. Others may sleep, but we should stay awake and be alert. People sleep during the night, and some even get drunk. But we belong to the day. So we must stay sober and let our faith and love be like a suit of armor. Our firm hope that we will be saved is our helmet.

God doesn’t intend to punish us, but wants us to be saved by our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 Christ died for us, so that we could live with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11 That’s why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing.

This passage follows a similar theme to last weeks gospel reading.  Don’t sleep, stay awake.  It doesn’t mean physically, if it did I would be beyond all hope!

But we should be alert, spiritually aware.  And we should be watching – perhaps not just for ourselves, but watching for those who cannot watch for themselves.  When someone we know is in distress, we watch over them and we watch out for them. When I am asleep, I know that the wonderful Mr Pamsperambulation watches out. That’s an element of this watchfulness for God’s coming that I’ve never thought of before.

We won’t know when God is coming.  We won’t know when we will meet him.  It is a sad fact of life that sudden illness or accident can strike at any time.  If it happened to me today, am I ready?

God is not trying to catch us out, waiting until we’re doing something wrong to pounce.  He longs for us to live with him eternally.  And that means being spiritually aware, doing all we can to be ready to meet him – encouraging and helping one another along the way.

 Lord may I watch
and wait;
ready,
prepared,
living for you.

Give me patience,
stamina,
understanding,
compassion
and grace
that I may watch
and watch over
faithfully
for you

Take as You Find

If we know someone is coming to our house, we do try to tidy up, to prepare for their arrival.  If someone calls by unexpected, they are very welcome – but they take us as they find us.  The house might be a mess, we may be dressed in our slobbing clothes, you may get a different picture, depending on when you catch us.

As the crescendo towards Advent continues, we are reminded to be ready for God’s coming.  They Day of the Lord WILL come.  We do not know when it will be, we do not know when that day may come for us, but come it will.  One moment things may be perfectly normal, the next we may be meeting God.

 

Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians – and us is:

Do not be taken by surprise.

If someone is coming, you’d want to be found awake and sober.

But Paul goes on to say,

God did not choose us to suffer his anger, but to possess salvation

The ultimate reason for God’s coming is not to make people suffer, to destroy them; but so that we might receive the salvation he offers.  Judgement is not meant to be a bad thing, but a positive thing, leading to life with him.

We might deserve the wrath and anger of God, but Jesus died so that we might find the salvation God longs for us and offers to us.

I was told a long time ago

You don’t need to pay the price for your sin – Jesus already has.

That doesn’t mean we can go on doing what we like, for we will be called to account.  But it does mean that if we turn to God, knowing what we have done wrong, Jesus has already done the work to take our wrong.  If we live in that, then at judgement we will be able to live together with God.

So how do we live like that?  By being always ready for God and what he is doing – and encouraging and helping one another.

Lord,

how will you find me

when you come?

Will I be sleeping,

or distracted?

Or alert

and waiting

for you?

Helping

and encouraging others?

Thank you Lord,

that Jesus had paid the price

for the things I get wrong –

that we might live together.

Help me to accept that,

live it,

and share it