I’m excited to begin our journey together today. I have a few short details to mention before the introduction to our study.
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Introduction to Children of the Day: 1 & 2 Thessalonians
Children of the Day will take us on a journey through the pages of 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Thessalonica/Thessaloniki is located in present day Greece. The city, during the time of Paul, was in an area called Macedonia. Paul decided to travel to Macedonia during his second missionary journey in AD 49-52.
“During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Acts 16:9, 10
Macedonia had been the original kingdom of Alexander the Great and was considered one of the world’s great dockyards. Originally called Thermai because of the city’s location near the Thermaic Gulf, the city was renamed in 315 BC by Cassander, the king of Macedonia, after his wife, Thessalonica, the half-sister of Alexander the Great. Thessalonica lay in a very strategic trade route position located on the Ignatian Road which linked the East with the West. This location was critical in the development of Christianity into a world religion.
Paul’s visit was brief, but the truths that he taught the people burrowed deep into their souls. A description of Paul’s journey and arrival in Thessalonica is given in Acts 17:1-9.
“As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, … Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.” Acts 17:2, 4
The first epistle was written to address and correct issues that had cropped up in the church since Paul’s visit. The second letter, written shortly after the first, was written to address misconceptions about the second coming of Jesus Christ. Both of these letters reflect Paul’s ongoing help to the fledgling congregation to handle the daily problems of a fast growing church.
Today, you will begin reading Week 1’s daily lessons found on page 15 of your Children of the Day workbook. I would suggest that you work a lesson a day. On Monday, September 15th, I will post a summation of the Week 1 lessons. Thank you for grabbing your backpack and sandals and joining in on this journey as we walk through history on the pages of 1 & 2 Thessalonians together.