Instead of just saying 'Bye' and moving straight on to the next task we need to complete, imagine if we stopped and shared our hopes and desires for the people we are departing from.
1 Thessalonians 5.12-28
Reference: v.23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV Bible)
Explore: When we farewell people in Australia we will say 'Bye', 'See you later', or 'Have a good day'. When we sign off in a letter or an email we may use the words 'Regards', 'Sincerely', or 'Thanks' and then write our name. Simple yet effective farewells.
When the writers of scripture sign off their letters to churches they use language much more beautiful than our simple good byes. The blessings that they give to these churches encompass their hope and desire that the congregation will be closer to God and that they will continue on in their faith.
Application: Imagine if we put more thought and meaning into our farewells with people. Instead of just saying 'Bye' and moving straight on to the next task we need to complete, imagine if we stopped and shared our hopes and desires for the people we are departing from. Sure enough they would possibly think that we are crazy or that we are about to die if we suddenly turned so serious, but it would certainly give greater meaning to our farewells. I know a minister who would ask his hosts if he could pray for them before he left. This came quite naturally to him and his role. We all may not feel comfortable doing that but maybe we need to give a little more thought to what we are saying when we farewell our loved ones.
Prayer: Lord, you certainly bless us each and every day. May everyone who is open to your blessing be made aware of your presense today. Amen.
What are your hopes and desires for the people that you meet with today?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.