10.26.08 Proper 25 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 The text before us is one of the most difficult in all of Paul's writings. Much has been written about this passage, and there is a range of varying views. I am reminded of a recent conversation with an older member of my congregation. He reminded me of days when pastors and preachers preached on the second coming of Jesus Christ. He also reminded me that it had been a while since he had heard a sermon on the subject.
10.19.08 Proper 24 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 In 1 and 2 Thessalonians Paul departs from his usual salutation. In all his other writings, he makes some reference to his apostleship. It seems that he felt compelled to defend his role and responsibility as one set apart and sent out by Jesus Christ. In 1 and 2 Thessalonians he simply signs his name, Paul. But there is also another distinctive mark of Pauline writing found in this first letter to Thessalonica. His use of the words "faith" and "hope" and "love" are prominent in this letter. Combinations of these three words are woven into Paul's letters.
10.12.08 Proper 23 Philippians 4:1-9 Paul's letter to the church at Philippi is filled with thanksgiving, rejoicing and praise. It is a letter from the heart of a loving and caring pastor. We see in this epistle one commendation after another until we come to the first nine verses of chapter 4. Here, as Guy King states it, we find the "fly in the ointment." The text before us reveals a conflict in the church and a loving pastor's admonition to those involved.