How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 1 Thessalonians 3:9-10 (NIV).
This is Holy Week. Tradition (and Biblegateway.com) say that Monday is the day when Jesus went to the Temple in Jerusalem and scoured it out. Tuesday is the day of Jesus’ Olivet discourse, and the day when Judas Iscariot discussed betraying his Master with the Sanhedrin. When you boil it all down, though, we’re speculating. The events of Holy Week are well documented in the four Gospels, but 2000 years later we still can’t pinpoint exactly some of what happened and at exact times on each of the days. That isn’t surprising, since we can’t always pinpoint exact times for things that happen in our lives today. It’s tough to say, but in reality, the specific dates and times of things, even events from the Bible, are just trivia. If that’s all we focus on, we’ve missed the larger point.
Yet something about this is true whether we know the date and time or not: we can’t thank God enough for the joy we have in His presence because of each other, especially now. No matter what’s going on, no matter what day of Holy Week it is, no matter what other trivial things cloud up our lives, we can always thank God for the blessing of other people that He moves into our lives.
Why does Paul say what he said? You know the answer: joy. It’s because the angels in heaven rejoice when we the people love and live as followers of Jesus. It’s because it pleases Jesus to commune with us, and when two or more of us are together in His name He is there. It’s because it’s a privilege to tell loved ones about this Jesus and this miraculous, wonderful love He has for them. It’s because you get to share with other people the news that they’re completely forgiven, as forgiven as anyone ever could be, by the God who created them just to love them.
People are a blessing. They folks you argue with on Facebook: blessing. The sister-in-law who’s hurting: blessing. The grandkids you love, the ornery boss, the stranger with whom you strike up a conversation, the homeless man you pass by: all blessings. God gives us people in our lives so that we might share the joy of Jesus with them, and then increase His love all the more.
That matters no matter what day of the calendar it is. And it’s not a trivial matter.
For further reading: Matthew 18:20, Matthew 21:12-13, John 2:13-22, 1 Thessalonians 3:11.
Lord, I praise You for the blessing of people in my life. Thank You for blessing me with them, all of them.