Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

“The Summons Song,” John L. Bell and Graham Maule, 1987

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From Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy:

To the church of the Thessalonians, which is in God our Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace to all of you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Brothers and sisters, we must always thank God for you. This is only right because your faithfulness is growing by leaps and bounds, and the love that all of you have for each other is increasing.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-3

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Have you ever picked up someone’s phone or laptop, and started reading? It’s not advisable, but it sure is tempting. Why else would tabloids and celebrity websites be so popular? We’re fascinated by other people’s problems and triumphs. We love being up in their business.

Did you know the Bible is full of other people’s mail? Paul writes letters to new believers all over the Mediterranean region, and Thessalonica is one of those fun-to-pronounce places. He always starts his letters off with “Grace and Peace,” with thanking God for the people he’s writing to.

It’s easy to take people for granted, isn’t it? To focus on gossip and scandals and who’s most attractive or annoying at the moment.

But what if you started even the most mundane interactions with a “grace and peace” kind of spirit? What if you greeted even the most familiar people in your world with a “Hey, thanks for being you”?

A little goes a long way to making someone’s day — including your own.

Cari Pattison

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Dear Jesus,
Increase my love for the people around me —
Especially the people I see all the time and overlook.
Grow my faithfulness by leaps and bounds!
I can’t do it on my own.

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The question is not whether God has called you.

The question is how and where and whether you will say “yes.”

Go into this day brave.
Go into this day believing.
Go into this day knowing
that you are already enough.

Cari Pattison

Cari Pattison loves being a pastor. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she’s been a minister at The Reformed Church of Bronxville — near New York City — for almost ten years. She moonlights as a fitness instructor, having taught Jazzercise, yoga, barre, and Pilates over the past eight years. Kansas City will always be home for Cari, whose refrigerator is covered with pictures of her three baby nieces.

Reflections on the Way: Jesus the Very Thought of Thee/How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place

Ken Medema

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