We instruct you, brothers and sisters,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to shun any brother
who walks in a disorderly way
and not according to the tradition they received from us.
For you know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked,
so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that
if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.
May the Lord of peace himself
give you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with all of you.
This greeting is in my own hand, Paul’s.
This is the sign in every letter; this is how I write.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.
— 2 Thess 3:6-10, 13-16
The peace of the Lord be with you. Imitation? Imitate who? The Apostle’s who imitate the ways of Jesus. That is our goal — to imitate the life of Jesus. That is what the word Christian means — to be a Christ bearer.
Those writings, people, and ways of life most closely associated with Jesus and his disciples are priceless because they are like points on a compass that give us direction. Jesus lived a very simple and focused life — his only aim was to do the will of the Father.
Today we are so fortunate to have the Bible, which is not only a library about salvation history, but also contains the words of Jesus and provides a glimpse into the early Christian community. May the Lord give us the grace and the space to immerse ourselves in prayer, reading, and meditation that we may be true bearers of His legacy of love. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.