Wednesday Word 9.06.2017

2 Thessalonians 3:10-15 New International Version 

10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. 14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.

You don’t work, you don’t eat.  Plain and simple.  Well, really not so simple.  Scriptures also tell us to care for the “least of these.”  If we remember to whom this letter was addressed, the established church in Thessalonica, it becomes more clear.  If I am part of a community of believers and I am enjoying the association with fellow believers and I am benefiting (“being fed”), then I need to participate.  I need to make a contribution to the community.  In the United Methodist faith we promise to contribute to the service of Our Lord and the well being of the community with our “prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.”  If Emmanuel is my church home, then I need to pray for the congregation and its ministries.  I need to show up.  I need to do whatever I can to keep the circle chart spinning; not only with donations, but with whatever skills I may be able to muster. I must never forget that service is all about God’s glory, not ours.  And, I must be ready and willing to share God’s love. Anytime, anyplace.

We hear a lot from Paul, but James really drives this point home.  Don’t let your faith be hollow.  James says, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26). It is through our works that people will see what a difference Jesus makes in our lives. We can never earn our salvation. Jesus did that for us free of charge!  However, we are called to show others that they are loved that much, too.  What can you do in honor of that love?  How can you contribute to the Kingdom of God?  The eats at the Heavenly Banquet will be amazing!  Let’s work together…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki