Dead Christians live forever- Monday, 22nd week in ordinary time – 1 Thessalonians 4: 13- 18
Written in 50 AD, the letter of St Paul to the Thessalonians is the earliest written book in the New Testament. Thessalonica was a port city in Macedonia, modern day Greece. The city took its name from the wife of Cassandra, a general of Alexander the great.
This city was important for economic, commercial and political reasons. Its harbour and Roman highway contributed greatly to the wealth of this commercial centre. This city also housed a Jewish population and a synagogue. It is here that Paul arrives during his second missionary journey in 50 AD.
Paul courted controversy where ever he went. He was not one to water down the message that he himself had received from the Lord. He wore his convictions on his sleeve and doing so does not always win you the Nobel Prize.
Paul’s mission thus far, has been stormy, to say the least. He has been expelled from Philippi which was no more than a hundred miles east of Thessalonica and now arrives in this bustling city which had a Jewish population large enough to warrant the building up of a synagogue.
As what will become his characteristic trade mark, Paul will go first to the synagogue where we know that he preached at least for three weeks till I riot erupted among the Jewish population. Three weeks was all it took for some Jews to be threatened by the popular message of Paul. Along with Paul, his companion Silvanus was also expelled; it is from here that they go to the city of Beroea.
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