It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

We Will Be with the Lord Forever, Reflection on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Paul is reassuring those who had been expecting the imminent return of Jesus and had become disappointed as Christians died before that return. "Of course, you are grieving," Paul writes to them. "You miss them, and you fear what is waiting for them and for you."

Paul then affirms that what God has done for Jesus, God will do for them. "Jesus will return to earth as sovereign. All Christian believers will lead him back in a triumphal parade. All of us, all of them, will be with the Lord forever."

Boring and Craddock, in their The People's New Testament Commentary, point out that the language Paul is using derives from the apocalyptic language of his time.

Lauren Winner, in her blog, The Hardest Question, reminds us that we believe eternal life is good,  and that we want to console mourners. She then asks "Is there comfort to be found in this text (or is there something implicit here that is decidedly anti-comforting) when the dead person I’m worried about had no interest in Jesus at all?"

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