November 8, 2020

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

“Grieving with Hope”

The Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians is the earliest piece of Christian writing in the Bible. Scholars figure that it was probably written around the year 50CE, about 6-8 months after the apostle had founded the Christian community in Thessalonica, and about 4 months after he had been forcibly removed from the city.

So you can imagine… this is a group of brand new Christians, having heard about Jesus and begun following his way just a short time ago. They had a brief time of learning from Paul while he lived in their city, working as a labourer and introducing the gospel. Later, they had a visit from Paul’s young co-worker, Timothy, who visited them and went back to Paul with an encouraging report.

But this faith is completely new to them, and I can imagine that questions arose in their minds and hearts on a regular basis. Thessalonica was a large city on the Aegean Sea, the largest city in the Roman province of Macedonia, and an important centre for trade. About 100,000 people from all walks of life lived there, and the folks who heard Paul’s preaching and formed a Christian community there were … Read more »