Pastor John Writes:
I was looking at the watchword for Friedland for 2023:
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:5
This chapter of 2 Thessalonians ends Paul’s second letter to the believers in Thessaloniki, and provides many words of advice, warning, and encouragement. Paul calls on them to stand firm, to hold fast to their traditions, and not to listen to false teachers. It seems that other teachers had been in their community and had brought confusion, but Paul advises them to remember the message shared by Paul and his companions.
Paul also asks that the Lord Jesus and God the Father, who loved them and “through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope,” would comfort their hearts and “strengthen them in every good work and word.” Again, he reminds them that ”the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will go on doing the things that we command.”
These are words of comfort and hope, not just for the believers at Thessaloniki, but for every believer, and every Christian community, including those of us at Friedland. These words are a reminder that we have our responsibilities, but we do not engage in them on our own. Despite the changes around us, despite our challenges and disappointments, God remains with us, every step of the way. That is good news for us to remember.
When life is uncertain, and when the way forward seems difficult, “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” May God’s love sustain us, day after day. Amen.
Peace to you,
The Rev. John G. Rights