From my experience, I think that knowing we are expected, will be welcomed and accepted, can be an antidote to fear, can temper apprehension as we journey. When we came to Australia, Ron and I had both had good experiences, travelling and working in Europe. The sense of adventure is what I recall, and I feel grateful for the opportunities and the new friendships. o when we came “out here” we felt pretty sure we would find friends. I did feel apprehensive, as I was expecting our first child in 3 months’ time, without family support, in a different health system, but our “contacts” / friends, including Scots Church people, were a great source of help and advice. We came to Mount Waverley when Eileen was 10 days old and soon tapped into the blessings brought by worshipping and sharing with the family of St Luke’s.
Think of those who journey to countries where they are unsure of their welcome, and, in many cases, fear experiencing lack of understanding or respect.
Paul wrote many times about his gratitude to God for the new Christians he had inspired. It gave him strength to venture into hostile places with his message. At the end of our reading for today, he commends the Christians of Thessalonica for their encouragement and building up of one another.
In Psalm 25 David prays: “Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love for they have been from of old.”
God’s love is often described in scripture as unfailing, eternal, abundant, overflowing .I have long felt the assurance of this overflowing love, felt reassurance in down times. In my kitchen I have an image of a waterfall, spilling out from a lake, which to me stands as a symbol of God’s love.
May we strive to be as generous with our love to all as is our God.