By Jason Haldeman (Minister of Faith Formation at the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren (PA))
1 Thessalonians 3:1-13 “…may the lord make your love increase and overflow…”
In this section of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, he is remembering those he had spent time with in Thessalonica. He writes to them about how he had been missing them and worried, however, he had just received word from Timothy that they are doing well. This makes Paul happy and he wants to continue to encourage and support them. He says “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else”. Paul offers this prayer of encouragement to people he loved and wanted to be near to, but was unable to be with them.
Many of us find ourselves in a similar situation today, longing to see one another perhaps a friend, or family member but are unable to do so. The wonderful thing is that God’s love knows no bounds and while separation of geography or “stay-at-home” orders may keep us physically distanced, the love we may hold for one another cannot be contained or confined. May we be reminded that when we feel lonely or do not have enough energy or love to give out to others, we can always turn to God as the ultimate source. God is the ever-flowing stream, the bottomless well, the never-ending faucet of love, because God is Love. We can take the time to fill ourselves up on God’s love and let it overflow to those around us, everyone, near and far. This may not always be easy, but it does start with trusting God as our source of love and knowing that it is abundant and will never run out.
Good News: Love comes from God, it is an endless and infinite source that can fill us up and overflow from us to others.
Discussion Questions: What are ways that you can overflow God’s Love to those around you? How do you refill yourself on the Love of God?
Go one step further: Reach out and let your love overflow to someone. Who have you not spoken to or connected with in some time? Take a moment and send a random text, message or phone call to someone. Maybe a friend you have not seen in weeks or years? Perhaps you have a relative you have been meaning to call. Reach out! Cannot think of anyone to send a message to? How about sending an encouraging message to a random stranger and receiving one in return? Check out https://www.textforhumanity.com/
Let Love overflow, and know there is an endless supp to replenish you!