By Campus Missionary Mary Rowley – based on 1st Thessalonians 1:1-10
Picture these three people: a Christian homeless man in the slums, a pastor of a wealthy congregation, and a missionary in the African desert. What do these three people have in common? They are all Christians. They all believe in the same God. They all have the same goals, despite their very different circumstances.
Despite their similarities, we might view and treat them in different ways. We might treat the pastor with respect, the missionary with awe, and the homeless man with negativity. We might think we have little in common with the latter, when in reality we share everything with this man because of our common faith.
In this passage of 1st Thessalonians, Paul uses the phrase “our gospel.” He doesn’t say “my gospel” or “your gospel” or “their gospel”; he says the gospel is “ours.” The gospel is what connects him to the Thessalonians, and it would connect him even if he had never met them. The gospel is what he shares with the Thessalonians before and beyond anything else. The gospel takes away all presuppositions, all biases, all differences.
As we go about our day, let us consider the fact that if someone is a Christian, he or she is our brother or sister, no matter how otherwise different we may be. Circumstances, economic statuses, social statuses – nothing matters except our gospel that connects us.