In Spite of Persecution

This meditation is based on a passage for November 29, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Reflection and Question: This was Paul’s first letter and it set a pattern for all the others by beginning with thanks for the recipients. When Paul asserts that God chose them through the power of the Holy Spirit, I am forcibly reminded of my friend Ray Bagnuolo, who is so clear that God made him gay and that God called him to ministry. Like Paul’s friends, Ray received God’s word with joy in spite of the persecution he has experienced in his life. I give thanks for Ray’s labor of love and steadfastness of hope in Christ. Who are you reminded of by Paul’s thanks here?

Prayer: Holy Spirit, Love Divine, inspire us to be imitators of Jesus so that, in spite of persecution, the word of Christ may sound forth from us. Make all we do a work of faith and a labor of love. May we receive the Word with joy and hope. Amen.