Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-24
The Bible verse 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 reminds us that we are not alone in our faith journey. We are called to respect and love one another, to hold onto what is good, and to avoid every kind of evil. This is what it means to be part of a community, to be in covenant with one another. This means that we have the support of our brothers and sisters in Christ as we profess our faith and turn away from sin.
A compelling example of such a profession of faith is found in the story of Doubting Thomas. Initially skeptical of Jesus' resurrection, he insisted on physical proof before he could believe. Once Jesus did appear to him and he touched his wounds, Thomas proclaimed his faith in Jesus as "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28). Jesus told Thomas "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
As we navigate our own journeys of discipleship, we can all relate to Thomas' doubts and questions. But even as we work through these issues, we strive to profess our faith and grow in our relationship with Christ. It is fitting that our church bears the name of St. Thomas, as we seek to support each other in our profession of faith.
During this Lenten season, let us remember that we are not alone. We are in covenant with one another, and we are called to support each other in renouncing sin and professing our faith in Christ. Let us hold fast to what is good, abstain from evil, and pray without ceasing. And let us make our profession of faith not just with our words, but with our lives.
About Nathan Hall
Nathan Hall is currently the chair of the Communications Committee. He has a wife, Melissa, and a 5-year-old daughter, Everly. Outside of church, he is a Software Engineer at Google. In his free time he enjoys fun activities with his family.