"Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NRSV
Think of a time when you wanted something badly. Do you remember how you longly waited for that special day to arrive and the building excitement? The closer you got to that date, the slower time seemed to move. It is like the kid trying to sleep on Christmas Eve; the night seems to go on forever. Waiting is so hard!
The church in Corinth was anxiously awaiting for Paul to return with great anticipation. In responding to their letter, he assures them he is coming and wants to stay with them a while, but he was busy spreading the good news in other places. After addressing some issues in the church and providing encouragement, Paul closes the letter with the instructions in today's passage. He ends with the prayer, "Our Lord, come!" in anticipation of the imminent Second Coming of Christ.
While we do not know the day or time of Christ's return, we may not see it in our lifetimes, but we know it will happen. Whether we shuffle off this mortal coil to join Christ in death or witness His return, we need to stand ready, hold firm to our faith, and live our lives in love that we may bring others to Christ.
Father God, we give you thanks for your promise. While we wait for the fulfillment of your Kingdom, please help us remain strong, not wavering in our conviction. Help us to show your love to others that they may share in your promise. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.