Lectionary Year A
October 20, 2002

I Thessalonians 1:1-10
Contemporary Address

Step VI - Contemporary Address

A. Goals

(JFC) This text might inspire contemporary Christians to grow in faith similarly to some of the ways Paul believed the Thessalonians grew in theirs in the first century.

B. Describing the Audience

(JFC) This sermon might speak to any congregation needing to hear of God's gifts of grace, peace and Gospel.

C. Address

(JFC) A sermon, entitled for this working draft, "What God Does With Us"

If St. Paul looked down from heaven and evaluated our Church, its members' faith and our mission's progress to spread the Gospel throughout our community, etc., what would he think? Would he find us still in our infancy as were the Thessalonians or would we have matured in the faith beyond our earliest formative years?

I. God

A. Paul sends reminders to the Thessalonians of God's grace and peace. We, too, sometimes need reminders of God's freely given grace and peace to us, even us.
B. Paul contends that the Holy Spirit's power brings the Gospel to the first century folk. Does Paul detect that we are living with and serving God as if the Holy Spirit engulfs us?

II. Responses

A. The Thessalonians left idolatry to worship and serve the One True and Living God. God endowed them with conviction with which to imitate Paul and Christ, too. Doe Paul see that sort of orientation in our life-styles both individually and institutionally?
B. We, today, all too often, tend to prioritize some things more than we do people and certainly God. Yet, when we realize the extent to which God has gone to save us, we respond more faithfully and obediently.

III. What More Might We Expect?

A. We have been welcomed into this Church as had Paul and his friends been welcomed so hospitably into the community of Thessalonica. Do our attitudes and actions reveal that we are grateful for such inclusion as members of the Body of Christ, the Church?
B. God has raised Jesus from the dead and we have but to await His complete second coming to bless us even more that we are blessed so far in this life of the faith. Does Paul observe we are patient waiters for the Second Coming?

So, Paul would see that we are maturing in faithfulness - we recognize and praise God for Divine grace and peace, for the Holy Spirit's endowing us with the Gospel and for the

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