Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)
Read: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-16
Consider: Paul wrote his second letter to the Thessalonian believers to correct misunderstanding in the teaching about the return of Christ. Some of the believers had begun to teach that it had already happened (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2) and so they concluded that there was no need for them to bother working. Their logic was that as Christ had already returned, it would only be a short time before he would gather all believers to himself; so why bother working.
Paul speaks against idleness by holding himself up as an example of someone who worked hard while he was with them in Thessalonica. In 2 Thessalonians 3:6-16 he says: We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. Can you see what Paul is saying? His teaching (3:10), and hard work speak clearly of the necessity for believers to be active.
Later in the chapter Paul says: And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good (3:13). Paul recognises that we can all tire of doing the same things day after day and we all need to be encouraged to do the right thing. This made me think of the current situation regarding the COVID-19 virus and what is happening with so many people being encouraged to stay at home. There is the distinct possibility that individuals (including Christians) could become bored and idle.
So what has our reading in 2 Thessalonians to say to us in this situation? We need to be active in whatever way possible during this time. For some who spend little time at home and who get their identity from work, this will be particularly challenging. Spending more time with family can also be challenging for some. Even husbands and wives need to be patient with each other and to re-learn how to value each other’s company.
Towards the end of this chapter Paul prays for the Thessalonians in this way: Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all (3:16). That is my personal prayer for you all today.
Pray: Father, may we each use our time wisely. Be with families who re-learn how to occupy their time together. May your peace rule in our hearts every day. Amen