Kaffeeklatsch, anyone?

Refection on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18

Stop surfing the internet and get back to work, you idle people!

Thoughts on a first reading of 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18: Wow, this is pretty unforgiving.  It reminds me of a certain recent Presidential candidate’s comments about the lack of work ethic of 47% of the population.  I wonder whether Paul tied a dog to the roof of his chariot?  The reading also makes me think of one of Lenin’s socialist precepts that “he who does not work shall not eat.”  But it seems like a pretty straightforward piece of text, no parables or even metaphors to decipher.

Thoughts on a second reading: People complain about two things during the holiday season: having too much to do, and eating too much.  (My pastor growing up has given basically the same homily on Christmas Eve for at least 10 years, and it’s always about how people say they are so busy during the holidays but how Jesus is never too busy for us and we should not be too busy for Him.)  My parents have hosted the extended family on Christmas Eve for about 40 years, and preparing the meal does take a lot of work and preparation.  There’s the baking, the cooking, and the cleaning up.  And it would be nice if others pitched in on occasion.  Not to earn their bread, but just out of consideration.

Thoughts on a third reading: Do as we say, and as we do.  But there is a certain irony in verse 11, which reprimands some for being “busybodies” (probably a loose translation) and yet starts out by reporting rumors: “we hear that some among you are idle and disruptive.”  Kaffeeklatsch, anyone?

~Maia Linask

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