I always feel like 1 Thessalonians is like lingering over a great cup of coffee and fresh hot bread with butter and jam and then glancing at the clock: and it’s like a race to get out the door to catch a plane. You know what I mean; the times you linger in pleasant conversation and then suddenly it hits you: you’ve got to leave –right now! 1 Thess starts like a soothing chat and ends like… well, sort of like that moment when you’re standing in the doorway of a train and hear the PA system: please step away from the doors.
As you hug and say the good-bye’s, you race through all the important stuff you meant to say but reminisced too long to say them and then you recognize that some very meaningful things will be missed or imperative instructions won’t be given unless you just blast them out sort of like bullets firing from a machine gun. So you make several points in as few words as possible and hope they’ll stick more than all the things you said during that seemingly unhurried portion of the visit. So… yes, that’s what Thessalonians is like to me. And motherhood.
We do that, as mothers, to our children. We stand at the door and say all the stuff in about a minute and a half that we had already spent years teaching them and then think we need to tell them again when they leave on a trip or whatever. Or even when they go to visit for a few hours somewhere. You know… the list that starts our sounding a bit wistful and then speeds up as you see the doors closing and the seatbelts fastening… Be sure to call when you get there. Mind your manners. Be sure to say thank you. Be sure to ask interesting questions. Listen well before you answer. Be gracious. Be helpful. Be careful of what activities you agree to do. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do if your father were standing next to you. You’ll be fine, the LORD will watch over you: He’s faithful. Remember, I’ll be praying for you. Have a good time. Be careful. Greet all of them for us! Be good! God bless you…. I loooooove yoooooooo……..
And they’re off. And you pray. 1 Thess 5 is sort of like that.