1 Thessalonians 5:16–24
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
“Joy:fully Lutheran” Why is there a colon?
To be Lutheran is to rejoice in God’s free gift of salvation. The heart and soul of Lutheran teaching and belief is the love of God. The Gospel is the essence of being a Lutheran. God’s free gift of salvation defines Lutherans and their faith.
Jesus died and rose for us. He forgives our sins and delivers us from death and the grave. His gifts are given to us freely through His Word, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We live as witnesses of His mercy and grace. “Joy:fully Lutheran.”
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). As Christians, we serve our neighbors as a reflection of God’s love for us. We have been forgiven and freed from sin to serve our neighbor. “Joy:fully Lutheran.”
Our witness and service reflect the love of God for this world. In love He gave His Son. Because we have been loved, we love. God calls each of us to serve Him in different places and ways. In each of these vocations, we are given opportunities to love our neighbor. We joyfully obey His command to love our neighbor as ourselves. “Joy:fully Lutheran.”