Thursday, December 13, 2012
Hope in anxious times
2 Thessalonians 2:1-2
As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together in him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here.
We live in anxious times, and even in this season when we prepare for and await the coming of Jesus, we still get caught up in the spirit of the times. There are some keys for how to manage and even thrive amidst the anxiety when we read Paul's Second Letter to the Thessalonians. First, there is the sense of being "gathered together in him." That is the sense that we are not alone in our struggles, we are not solitary figures fighting battles against all comers. Rather, we are gathered together with others, who are sharing in the struggles, the anxieties, and also the triumphs. Second, we are not merely even "gathered together" but also, and more specifically, "gathered together in him." We are enlivened and strengthened by the power and gifts given to us by God, in Christ. As the early believers in Thessalonica awaited the Lord's coming, we also await his coming, but while waiting we are also already gathered together "in him." Thirdly, we live in the remarkable and tremendous time in which "the day of the Lord is already here." That is, we are not merely awaiting the time of promise, the time of fulfillment, but also that time has already arrived. There are signs and wonders which point to the Kingdom of God, even now in this anxious time.
Loving God, in these times of anxieties and fears, help me to see that as I await the fullness of your appearing, you are already with me, and I abide in you, just as you abide in me. Amen.
Read more Advent reflections from this year HERE, and from 2010 Here