1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Now concerning brotherly love, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
Words of Hope
Most of my life I have worked for myself, that is I have either been a freelancer or owned my own company. Yes, I had stints working for others and even a couple of large corporations, but my most productive and happiest times were when I was making my own way.
Yet, even in those times when I was working on my own, I had collaborators. I had business partners, creative partners and associates. Together we did some great work. I always looked at my business partners as though they were my brothers. Our fortunes rose and fell together and we shared equally in the failures and successes. We loved each other like brothers.
I believe this is what Paul is asking of the early Christians at Thessalonica. He urges them to love each other as brothers, to work together to build their community. He urges them to be self-sufficient and industrious. It is something that doesn’t sound very theological, but practical. It seems more mundane than sacred. Sometimes doing practical things is a sacred act.
Putting food on the table by the work of our hands can be thought of as a sacrament every bit as much as any other. Sometimes serving ourselves can be a holy act, feeding our bodies is necessary before we can feed our souls. It brings a dignity to our lives and makes us grateful for the gifts God has given us that we use in the process.
God, thank you for the work you set before me that I might sustain myself and my brothers as we do your will in the world.
Cathedral of Hope