For this Sunday, I would have us consider our Advent mood as reflected in the reading from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-23. We have the words of the apostle Paul:
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything..." (verses 16-20)
Can you imagine yourself being in such a mode in this time living up to Christmas? Surely, there is reason to rejoice. There is reason for pray in helping us set our hearts right to receive the message of the Christ-child. Giving thanks ought to be on our agenda in being grateful that one is alive to celebrate this holiday one more time.
Paul also included having an openness to the Spirit and despising prophecy. We can think of prophecy coming from the Spirit's influence. Yet, we are to test everything. Maybe this time of the year we will hear different "prophetic voices" about the Second Coming or even how Christmas ought to be celebrated. Will we be open and willing to test what we hear.
For this Sunday, I would ask you to reflect on these words and what your mode of living might be. May your study and attending worship be a blessing for you.
Discipleship Questions for Reflection
Why might you personally rejoice in this Advent season?
What might be the content of your praying?
For what will you give thanks?