Friday, August 12, 2011

Stronger through Sharing (1 Thessalonians 3)

       Tomorrow is 광복절 (Korea’s Liberation Day).  For more than forty years, the Korean people resisted Japanese colonization.  Sometimes, this resistance was public as in the March 1st, Declaration of Independence in 1919.  More often though, the resistance was through guerilla warfare, covert meetings, secret newspapers delivered at night, and hidden educational gatherings.  
Throughout the resistance movement, one thing remained constant.  The resistance became stronger when people bound together.  Isolation led to weakness, but communal sharing led to strength.  As long as people felt that they were alone in their desire to be free and alone in their faith that freedom is possible, then their courage to resist grew weak.  But when people realized that they are not alone, that others stand together with them, that others also share the faith that freedom is possible, then their courage to resist became stronger.  
Isolation leads to weakness.  Communal sharing leads to strength.  This is the message under the text of 1 Thessalonians 3.  Let’s read it now.
 1 Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay alone in Athens, 2 and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, 3 and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. ...

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