As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to 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.
Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
An atheist friend joked with me recently that she must be a bad person. I wondered why she thought so? “Because we’re clearly in end times and I haven’t been raptured!”
I always smile when friends outside our faith share so much of our “end time vocabulary”: the Antichrist, Judgment Day, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. You could be forgiven for thinking that every non-believer’s summer reading is the Book of Revelation!
From the earliest days of our Church, Christians have been anxious about the end of the world. Paul has his hands full in today’s reading trying to calm down the Thessalonians, who are alarmed that the end has arrived and no one has thought to tell them. How does Paul go about it? By encouraging them. Remember the traditions you were taught. Remember how God has helped you in the past. Jesus is yours. Grace is yours. God loves you!
This is a faith strategy we can still follow today. Be present. Count blessings. Be amazed by creation! Our consolations will pave over our fears in the end. Let a Joy keep you!
Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement.
Get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes
nothing for granted.
Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible;
never treat life casually.
To be spiritual is to be amazed.
—Abraham Joshua HeschelPlease share the Good Word with your friends!