We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters[a] loved by God, that he has chosen you. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4

Paul, Silas and Timothy wrote this letter to the church at Thessalonica. Some believe it was in fact the first book of the New Testament to be written. In it, we see both Paul and his for the Thessalonians and the strong and fruitful response among the Thessalonians to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here Paul begins the letter with a greeting and a prayer. He knows that the Thessalonian churches have faced heavy opposition and are suffering for their faith and he commends them in his prayer for their faith, their love and their hope. These three realities have been part and parcel of their response to the gospel and the way they live their lives and he knows them to be right at the heart of God’s will for his people. Paul will mention them again- in 1 Corinthians and Colossians, suggesting that he thinks they are of great significance in the life of the disciples. He sees that each of these three have practical significance as faith promoted work, love promoted hard labour, hope enabled them to endure hardship. All that to say – that God wants us to be a people of faith, hope and love. May the life of Jesus produce these in us.

Grace and peace from Marcus