Catherine read the following passage from 1 Thessalonians1:4-7
‘For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.’
After a little while of pondering on the text, Sharon then re-read the passage and we again were asked to think of what in that passage of God’s word spoke to us. We had quite a lot of participation and it was wonderful that folk felt comfortable enough in this ecumenical setting to share what God was saying to them through his word. Several things stood out to us through this reading and we discussed these at length:
God has chosen us, which made us feel honoured, special and loved
The message of the gospel is not the saying of clever words, it is said in the power of the Holy Spirit, who is the one to convict a person of their need of a Saviour
God’s Holy Spirit gives us joy even in the midst of suffering
As in the early church, we too can be witnesses to the Lord through the way in which we conduct ourselves as Christians
These were the main points that we shared. It is so easy to read a passage of scripture without taking in the implications and deeper meaning. It is good to ponder and reflect on scripture and allow God to speak to you through it.
With prayer and song, we had a wonderful, uplifting time of worship and discussion.