2 Thessalonians 1:1–4 (ESV)
Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace to you and peace from
God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as
is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your
persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.
Paul gives thanks for God’s grace at work among the Thessalonians, by which He has created faith
and love in them. Paul points to the persecuted Thessalonians as examples for other Christians of their time and ours. We, too, should “be imitators of God” (Eph 5:1). We must set an example to others in what we believe and in what we say and do
for them; i.e., by living in faith and in love. In this way, we will be, as Luther puts it, little Christs, “[helping] our neighbor through our body and its works” (AE 31:367). Christ is indeed our example,
but, much greater and higher than that, He is our Savior! Cf 1Pt 2:19–25. He suffered in our place, on account of our sins, for us!
I pray: Almighty
God, we implore You that You would strengthen us through the Lord’s Supper in faith toward You and in fervent love toward one another. Amen.