Lectionary Year A
November 3, 2002
I Thessalonians 2:9-13
Step VI - Contemporary Address
(JFC) Proclaiming this text might aim at enlightening and inspiring renewed
appreciation of what God has done for us and what we might appropriately do in
B. Describing the Audience
(JFC) Any congregation needing a view of God's work and theirs/ours might like
what this sermon could declare.
(JFC) A sermon entitled for this working draft, "Work As God Did It and Still Does
And So May We"
Work happens. Sounds like a bumper sticker. We know it is true. We get our value, or identity, our fulfillment, our daily bread = our income, etc., from our jobs, careers, etc.
I. God's Work
A. God started this thing called "work". Creating the universe must have been a heavy work-load, huh? God also led Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph to Egypt, got the people through the years of slavery and then led them out from bondage to the Promised Land. God had quite a job calling and enabling many Prophets, Judges, Kings, etc.
B. God also worked in the New Testament, the Incarnation, the teaching, suffering, death, resurrection of Jesus, the redeeming us from our sinfulness, the efforts of Paul's sojourns, etc. And, verse 13 of our Epistle Lesson describes God's Word's being at work in believers. What a job description!
II. Humans' Work
A. Paul's efforts along his travels required much laborious expenditures of energy. He was fortunate to have a team with whom to work. He might be the first Labor Unionist, working with Silvanus and Timothy there. We have cohorts with whom to work, too.
B. You and I get our marching orders from this text, as well. Here, God calls us to see those who toil amongst us as witnesses to God's Gospel and to share it with others, too. And, God calls us to hear the Gospel to influence our lives and others', as well..
A. We will live good lives, holy, righteous, blameless when we receive God's Word as from God more than from human instruments alone. That life is an almost natural and very nearly unavoidable consequence of answering God's calls in the affirmative.
B. God's Word will find a work place in us. Its Gospel brings us peace and joy in deliverance from sin's guilt. See the passages cited above in Step IV, part A. Primitive Christianity, in the quote from TDNT, II, p. 732.
God generated work, labor, toil. We continue it and the results benefit us, our society and all generations of the world scene, past, present and future. So, as we work on, especially for the Gospel, we work with God's help and that association in itself benefits us much.
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