Prayer: Almighty God, you are the source of days and seasons. To you we give all glory, praise and honor. Help us to be patient and to faithfully live with respect to your perfect timing. Amen.
Reading: I Thessalonians 5: 1-11 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I was in a nice little coffee shop the other day and one of the members of our party got a hot tea. The beverage was prepared classically with loose leaf tea in a mesh strainer inside the cup. A small hourglass timer was given with the warm mug. Written on the top flat panel were words like please return to the counter. Being a goofy person, I contemplated all the comical meanings I could think of from the short instructions: returning the tea to countertop and asking if I could take it back to my table and drink it now; taking the timer back to the counter over and over and asking if it was done yet, etc. I kept these thoughts to myself. As the conversation quieted with arriving food, I thought of deeper meanings like what it means when your time runs out. I had been at a committal for a family member, so emotions were a little raw about that topic. I moved on in my mind, what about time as belonging to THE Counter—in the end, everything returns to God. This is a lot more comforting for me. Particularly when I am already wearing the breastplate and helmet of faith, love, and hope of salvation.
We don’t grieve as those without hope. We don’t see time like those who are without faith. We don’t live our lives counting the minutes, trying to squeeze everything out of life until it is done, because our time is in the hands of the deliverer.--Andrew Fitch
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