As I come to the end of Paul’s second small letter to the Thessalonians I am kind of wondering what this letter looked like on a scroll. How long was it? Were the lines straight? Were there any smudges? Did Paul add any emphasis by making the text bold or underlining? What member of the church in Thessalonica was responsible for preserving the letter? How often did they read the letter when the church gathered?
By the end of this letter, Paul is encouraging his “brothers” and me to not grow weary in doing good. Although there is a unique bond that I have with brothers in sisters in Christ there is a tendency in work to become exhausted, even to the point of fainting. I know that works has nothing to do with salvation, but Paul is suggesting that disciples of Christ can become tired, which means you must ask from what? From being engaged in serving Christ by serving the local church and his/her community. Contextually, reflecting on Paul’s previous thoughts, disciples of Jesus should not grow weary in normal work, otherwise you can resort to the busybody lifestyle. Fortunately Paul has a suggestion in dealing with disciples of Jesus who have poor work habits avoid them. Why? For shame. I’m not sure of anybody that will feel shame because I avoid them, but I may be surprised. Although as personally disturbing as it may seem, Paul does ask me to warn the weary workers not as an enemy but as a sibling, get involved doing good works.
Just as Paul concludes many of his letters discussing my Lord’s peace I should nightly go to bed reflecting and resting in the Lord’s peace. I love how Paul finishes the letter and in case some false teacher is handing you another letter you can tell this is mine by the handwriting (it’s terrible – LOL).