I've elected to focus on only the Epistle lesson today, as I find myself having conversations on this exact subject increasingly more often than in the past. For whatever reason, when we think or hope the end is near, it is easy to essentially just give up and forgo the calling we've received in Christ to be salt and light. I understand that, as it seems many times that our best efforts are useless, and yet I wonder how much worse things would be right now if not for the gracious preserving influence of Christians on the world? I shudder to think
1 Thessalonians 5.1-11
This passage describes the coming Day of the Lord, the last days upon which many are mesmerized even to the expense of living their lives in the here and now. Here St. Paul, I think, is offering a bit of a corrective toward those who have thrown up their hands and either become lazy in their actions or their morals. He encourages us to keep doing good, in spite of the presumed imminence of the end of time. He encourages us to press on in faith, love, and hope toward the salvation we've been promised in Christ Jesus, not becoming idle or letting our morals go, but pressing on to encourage each other and live out our faith in the midst of a dark and dying world.