Friday, May 12, 2006

1 Thessalonians 3:1-13

Who is your Timothy? Have you ever had a Timothy? Maybe you had a Timothy and didn’t even know it. Maybe Timothy came in and out of your life and you did not realize it until later. Have you ever been a Timothy to someone else?

Paul sent Timothy to the Thessalonians to find out what was going on there, since they had not heard from the new church in Thessalonica for so long, and to give encouragement to them to continue their Christian journey, as difficult as it was. You may be able to imagine the joy of the Thessalonians when Timothy arrived. Being so far from Paul and the other early Christian leaders, the Thessalonians were facing such severe hardships for their new faith and they were facing them alone. How frightening must their daily lives had been! As for Timothy, just moving around that part of the world at that time posed grave dangers for the early Church leaders. Timothy left Paul, who not only was Timothy’s brother in Christ, but was Timothy’s teacher and mentor. Timothy must have been so joyful himself at having arrived at his destination.

Have you been in an anxious situation, perhaps even frightening, or maybe just a difficult time at home or at work, and someone does something for you out of sheer kindness, pure love? The few times this has happened to me have been wondrous. It is as if the heavens open and the sunbeams are landing directly on me. You can’t help but to feel uplifted. The times I have been on the giving end (and I’m embarrassed to say that there have not been scores of instances of this) I have also felt such a thrill to give someone that joyful feeling of grace. Part of this, I am sure, is because there just simply is not enough joyful grace in our lives today – not enough acts of kindness for kindness sake.

Can you imagine a church where all the members were Timothys? You would receive a call if you didn’t make it to church one Sunday. You would get a call if someone heard you were feeling under the weather. Meals would show up at your door during a difficult period.

So, as Christians, our duty is to be a Timothy to as many people as possible. To share the love of Christ, even if doing so may be difficult for us. The return you earn on that investment is nothing short of miraculous.

Vicki Nelson

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