Today is mostly a travel day, but we are eventually arriving in Thessaloniki (Thessalonica), the audience for two of Paul’s Epistles
Read Acts 17:1-9 and 1, 2 Thessalonians (Both are short books, but could probably be read in 10-20 minutes)
In his first letter, Paul commends the hearers on their faithfulness in the midst of persecution, much like the apostles, and even Jesus, suffered, even from their own families. Then, he goes on to tell of the fatherly love he has for all of them as his offspring in Christ. He longs to be with them, and care for them and urges them to guard against all the evils and perils of this world and those who would work to drag them away from faith. Finally, he warns them to be ready for the Last Day at any moment while, at the same time, learn to live in harmony with others as though they will have to face them and live with them tomorrow! His second letter to them is more encouragement to stay the course in faith, not letting false teachings sway them, nor letting down their guard for the coming Judgement.
Heavenly Father, as we begin our first day of touring, turn our excitement and anticipation toward you and the great mission set before us to share the Gospel with all people. As we follow Paul’s steps through Thessaloniki today, open our eyes to the people before us, praying for them and their relationship with Jesus, and praying for those who would continue to preach the Gospel here and everywhere.