When Paul arrived in Thessalonica, most of the citizens had not yet heard of Jesus. Paul’s message was unlike any other they heard before. Some might have thought him crazy to believe so earnestly a story of saving grace through the merits of a man once crucified, dead, but alive again. Yet, a great number of people in Thessalonica believed. They were gripped by the power of the Holy Spirit, and in their hearing the gospel, they came to great faith.
So what does this have to say to the Church today? Well, first of all, it reminds us that we have a message worth sharing. God does not expect his people to keep the good news of Christ to themselves. Such truth is meant for everyone throughout the globe. Just as all are sinners, all need to hear the message of mercy and grace through Christ.
Secondly, it means that we are to be willing, as Paul was willing, to go to places where the gospel is not widely known. We never know who might respond to our effort of evangelism. Nor can we predict what their response might be. Yet, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the good news will bring people to faith; the message is that good.
Paul continued to preach the gospel, even as times became difficult. The Holy Spirit, however, never failed to give Paul the words or the strength to say them. Through his faith in Christ, Paul gave a powerful witness. The good news in this for us is that we can too. The Holy Spirit will also give us the words to speak, so that others might come to faith in their hearing.
O Holy Spirit; fill our hearts and minds with faith, that we may be embolden to share the gospel with all to whom you lead us. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.