October 16, 2011
Exod. 33:12-23; Ps. 99; I Thess. 1:1-10; Mt. 22:15-22
Today may well be observed as Laity Sunday. For some this means a time to have the Laity put together for the service of worship, or to preach or have a service of recognition. Whatever your plans, you might want to use I Thessalonians for one of your readings. Paul had spent about three or four weeks in Thessalonica; they were busy and successful weeks. For an account of this visit you should read Acts 17:1-10.
Having been smuggled out of town to avoid confrontation, they begin to look at ways for their ministry to grow. It seems that there has been a strong group of laity in this area who have given much to make the ministry happen. The message of the gospel is given to this group who gather in prayer and praise. In citing this as an example, Paul remembers the importance of the lay volunteer in order to have a fully functioning church. Paul writes to thank the church for what it has done and looks toward the future for challenging one another.
As a church in the twenty first century, we need to give thanks to those who have made the ministry possible. Paul remembers the Christians who did works of faith, carried a ministry of love, lived in steadfast hope and were told that they were beloved and chosen by God.
At a special Laity Sunday observance one might honor the laity of the church who have exhibited gifts or graces in these areas.