Today we will hear some powerful words. If we hear them and believe them, they will help us work meaningfully, live hopefully and joyfully, and serve as positive and influential examples to others. What are they? To find out, and to appreciate their impact, we’ll need to first of all consider the words of the apostle Paul in the first two chapters of his first letter to the Thessalonians.
We live between the times: between the first coming of Christ and the future coming of Christ. It’s a hard place to be, because what we long for hasn’t been fully realized. But it’s also an exciting place to be, because what we long for has been partially realized. As we experience something of what we long for, we anticipate the coming day, but we also appreciate the present day in light of the coming day. In his two letters to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul references the future “coming” of Christ more than he does in all his other letters combined. Our study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians therefore will help us live—really live—in the present, between the times, leaning into the future.