A Prayer for Lent from 2 Thessalonians

Andrea di Bartolo. Way to Calvary. c. 1400

Andrea di Bartolo. Way to Calvary. c. 1400

We are in the season of Lent when our minds should turn to what God did for us in Jesus Christ. We slowly proceed through these weeks and approach the cross where our Lord went to die for sinners like you and me. We ought to reflect on what it means for the Son of God to even to enter our world and take on flesh. What does it mean that our God would sacrifice so much to endure a life like our own? Even more amazing is that he didn’t come to be served, but to serve, doing things you’d never expect like wash disciples’ feet–including one who was to betray him. Jesus then willingly walks the road of suffering to Golgotha in order to be a sacrifice for us, show himself in glory, and reveal his great love for us.

Lent being such a season, I can’t think of a more timely prayer for God’s people than the words of Paul from 2 Thessalonians 3:5:

May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

God’s love is most clearly seen in Jesus Christ, who was steadfast in his obedience. May that be what holds our attention and captivates our heart in this time of preparation.

Why We Work

There are several remarks about work and against idleness in 1 & 2 Thessalonians. But we mustn’t get the wrong idea as to what this focus on work is for. Paul’s concern with work is work that is an outpouring of our faith, and these works express a faith that is in Christ. Our good works aren’t about making ourselves good, rather they are to point to Jesus, fulfill our purpose, and glorify God. Paul’s says in 2 Thessalonians:

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12