October 22, 2017

Exodus 33:12-23 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 “Seeing God” It has been a very difficult journey through the wilderness. After God led the Hebrew People out of slavery in Egypt, across the Sea, and into freedom, they wandered for forty years without finding their way to the promised land. God provided for their basic needs along the way – food to eat, water to drink, simple shelter from the elements – but it was obviously a pretty discouraging time. The people complained bitterly about their circumstances, and at times they even longed to go back to the security and predictability of their oppressed life in Egypt. Last Sunday, we read the story about the time they built a golden calf to worship, just one of the times that they turned away from God and did wrong things. And we were reminded that although God was disappointed, and although God was angry, God’s love and grace eventually prevailed, and God gave them another chance. It is in today’s reading (a chapter later) that Moses begs God to give them that second chance, to keep them as God’s own people, and to stay with them on their journey and lead them all the way into the promised land. In the midst of that desperate conversation with God, Moses worries that God might simply abandon him and the Hebrews, and he asks for the special blessing of being able to see God – to see God’s face, and know for sure that God is present. … Read more »

October 19, 2008 – Calvin-Goforth Presbyterian Church

The following sermon, based on 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, was preached by the Rev. Amanda Currie at Calvin-Goforth Presbyterian Church, Saskatoon, on Sunday, October 19th. Worship at St. Andrew’s was led by the Stewardship Committee using resources for Presbyterians Sharing Sunday. Written in about the year 50 CE, some 20 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus and 20 years before the Gospel of Mark was written, Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians is the oldest piece of Christian literature that we have. Early on during his second missionary journey, Paul, accompanied by Silas (sometimes called Silvanus) visited Thessalonica, the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia. They preached in the Jewish synagogue, with the result that some Jews and a larger number of pious Gentiles became Christians. In the book of Acts it is suggested that Paul spent only a short time in Thessalonica before difficulties occurred and he and his companions left the city. The letter shows that in the relatively short time he was with them, Paul developed a deep familial affection for the Thessalonians. He cared so much for them and he was so concerned for these newly evangelized Christians that he had an intense desire to return to Thessalonica, but was unable to do so. Instead, he sent his faithful companion Timothy to encourage and support the members of the community in their Christian life. Timothy then returned with a generally positive report of their situation, albeit with some hints at some deficiencies in the … Read more »