In 1921 George Mallory was a part of a team of 9 people trying to be the first to scale Mt. Everest. The first attempt ended in failure when high winds turned the team around.
The second attempt, 1922, which included the new innovation of bottled oxygen allowed the team to reach a height of 27,000 feet in elevation, but an avalanche killed several people.
But, in 1924, despite high winds and deep snows, the team set out again to scale Mt. Everest, and it is said that George Mallory was asked, “Why? Why would you try to climb this mountain over and over?” Mallory responded, “Because it’s there.”
In a similar way, in 1 Thessalonians 5 we see a similar charge by the Apostle Paul exhorting the Thessalonians to respond like the people pictured, heading toward a summit, the Day of the Lord, Jesus’ return, but there is one significant difference between the Thessalonians and the people in this photograph.
The people in this photograph are friends, but the Thessalonians are family in Christ. In chapter 1 we see the illustration of a mother. In chapter 2 we see the illustration of a father, and throughout 1 Thessalonians we see the address “brothers and sisters in Christ” used 16 times, and this familial distinction gives us a tethering that is unlike any other as we make this journey together.
When you read the passage on your own there are really about 17 characteristics to draw out, but for the sake of time we are going to focus on one; Personal Growth
1 Thessalonians 5:16-22, “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit, 20 do not utterly reject prophecies, 21 but examine everything; hold firmly to that which is good, 22 abstain from every form of evil.”
Remember our goals. Look at these people. Hair is going everywhere. No showers. Poor sleep. This is a rough and tumble crew that is trying to climb the highest mountain they could imagine.
In a similar way, when I look at our church family I see a scrappy group of people! During the pandemic we moved to video worship, 4pm worship, meeting in a condemned building-okay, sacrificial giving in a pandemic-okay! You can’t stop us!