Morning Psalms 99; 147:1-11

First Reading Leviticus 19:1-18

Second Reading 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

Gospel Reading Matthew 6:19-24

Evening Psalms 9; 118


1 Thessalonians 5:12-28


12But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; 13esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. 15See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise the words of prophets, 21but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22abstain from every form of evil.


23May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.


25Beloved, pray for us.

26Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 27I solemnly command you by the Lord that this letter be read to all of them.


28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.


Paul’s benediction to the church in Thessalonica: be at peace, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, do not repay evil for evil, rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances. These words were a farewell for a church that was undergoing trials but had a great expectation for the imminent return of Jesus. They lived in the shadow of persecution but expecting the dawn of salvation at any time. How do you live in the waiting? Just like this.


Holy God, encourage us in all things: in our work, in our rest, in our prayer, in our thanksgiving. Give us the comfort and the help of your Spirit as we await the end of this time—and, above all, as we wait for the coming Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.