1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (NRSV)
Chapter 1Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
Verse 2We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly Verse 3remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 4For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, Verse 5because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake.
Verse 6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, Verse 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. Verse 8For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. Verse 9For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, Verse 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead-Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.
Usually if we hear that someone is contagious, that’s not good news. It normally means that person is capable of spreading a disease or sickness. The Apostle Paul begins his letter to the Thessalonian church by giving thanks that they have become contagious, but in the very best way. God’s word has taken root. They have become anchored in Jesus Christ and his gift of salvation. The love of God in the crucified and risen Christ is directing their lives and has been spilling forth from them into the lives of many. Would that we too will be continually contagious in this sense. Would that the whole church be so touched and moved by God’s deep love in Christ that others are positively affected by it. God in Christ loves and values you more than you know. We have so much to share!
Lord of Love, shower us with your love, grace, and mercy today, making us contagious for the sake of your kingdom. In Jesus Name. Amen.