Thessalonians – Living Forward
The way we conceive the future sculpts the present, gives contour and tone to nearly every action and though through the day. If our sense of future is weak, we live listlessly. Much emotional and mental illness and most suicides occur among men and women who feel that they “have no future.”
The Christian faith has always been characterized by a strong and focused sense of future, with belief in the Second Coming of Jesus as the most distinctive detail. From the day Jesus ascended into heaven, his followers lived in expectancy of his return. He told them he was coming back. They believed he was coming back. They continue to believe it. For Christians, it is the most important thing to know and believe about the future.
The practical effect of this belief is to charge each moment of the present with hope. For if the future is dominated by the coming again of Jesus, there is little room left on the screen for projecting our anxieties and fantasies. It takes the clutter out of our lives. We’re far more free to respond spontaneously to the freedom of God.
All the same, the belief can be misconceived so that it results in paralyzing fear for some, shiftless indolence in others. Paul’s two letter to the Christians in Thessalonica, among much else, correct such debilitating misconceptions, prodding us to continue to live forward in taut and joyful expectancy for what God will do next in Jesus.
As we walk through Maundy Thursday to Resurrection Sunday, let us look forward in joyful expectation of Jesus Second Coming. May we LIVE forward in prayerful gratitude, taking the trouble with the joy, with inexhaustible, unceasing hope.
In Jesus Name, Amen