Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
September 28, 2008
Paul’s Letter’s As Powerful Guides for Modern Problems
The past two weeks have been filled with anxiety provoking news throughout the media. The collapse of multi-billion dollar institutions have sent fear and trepidation spiraling in every American household. The message with which Americans were bombarded was that no one would be spared. This sent chills up the spines of millions of people. Probably the worse phrase that was used was the comparison to the Great Depression.
The question constantly recurring was : “How did this happen?” “Why didn’t we see it coming and why were we not given any warning?” The answer was, of course: “We did see it coming but we were in denial.” Continual mismanagement, little or no oversight or regulation, and greed abounding, all led to the present financial crisis. There should not have been any surprises but as often happens we constantly hope that it will not happen in our lifetime.
St. Paul did not live in the 21st century thus he was spared the anxieties of such crises as Wall Street. One cannot help but wonder what Paul would have said concerning such a crisis however. We know that Paul did not always mince his words. His letters are honest and direct in nature. He did not live his life aiming to please every individual that approached him, neither was he afraid to suffer reproach or condemnation.
Paul’s letter to the people of Thessalonika is a good example of his approach. Perhaps we can pick up a few good tips in relation to our present day situation. This is especially true with respect to our children and what we want them to learn as they mature in our society and our American culture.
Paul went to the city of Thessalonika, the capital of Macedonia, to preach the Gospel of Christ. He and his companions had had great difficulty in the previous city of Phillipi so they needed a tremendous amount of courage to attempt another mission. They did not hesitate to go on however and soon found that their courage was rewarded. Once the church had been established, Paul left the new group in the caring hands of Timothy and Silas. He stayed in contact with this new church and today we have the original message sent to the Thessalonians
As we read the Epistle to the Thessalonians we are able to extract some key points that pertain to our present situation. There are three points that are particularly relevant. First of all, in verse 5 we see that Paul did not employ deceptive measures. He did not attempt to flatter his listeners with slick words nor did he employ a “pretext for greed.” If this was the only lesson we learned from Paul, we would already be better off. The second point found in verse 6 is that Paul did not abuse his apostolic privileges. Rather Paul and his friends chose to earn the respect of their new friends by means of their “style of life among them.” Lastly, verse 9 tells us that Paul worked hard and responsibly with his hands. Paul wanted to place no financial demands or burdens on the people.
Could it be that Paul knew that we would be reading his letters in the 21st Century? Probably not but we must remember that Scripture is the living word and was indeed inspired by God. Surely God knew exactly what we would need today.
Lorette P. Nault