Second Lesson Cycle A Proper 23 through Thanksgiving
Paul frequently reminded the Thessalonians of the kind of life that he and his friends lived while they were with them. He also reminded them that they had dealt with them like a father with his children, urging and encouraging them and pleading that they should "lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory" (v. 12). Later in the same chapter, Paul recognizes that the Christians in Thessalonica had indeed lived lives following the example of other Christians, even though it had been costly for them to do so. It is important for Christians to live a Christian life.
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Road trip. Books, movies, and songs often center on a story about a journey in which someone finds out who they really are, what they really want, how to become what they were meant to be. The journey may be literal — discovering about ourselves through travel — or symbolic — an inward journey or experience that crystalizes self-discovery. In these passages, Jeremiah’s journey is an inward dialogue with God, in which, despite his protestations, it becomes apparent he is to be God’s prophet in the worst of times.
Jeremiah 1:4-10 Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, wrote, “'I have chosen you!' Keep that note of greatness in your creed. It is not that you have got God but that He has got you.” These words are powerful and, I think, reflect well the call of Jeremiah that we see in this passage. From before the time he was born, God had a plan for Jeremiah. He would be God’s prophet to the nations.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free -- and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.... Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (vv. 12-14, 27)
"The land of the free and the home of the brave." So ends our national anthem sung today at many large public gatherings in our society. It was originally penned in a time of war and has continually reminded us that this is a nation where people will bravely fight to defend their freedoms. But in this day of post-modern relativism, when there are very few causes left which anyone will bravely defend, "freedom" still remains as the great American ideal.