For Sunday, January 6 we’re studying two somewhat similarly-themed texts: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 and 2 John 4-11. Here are a few questions we might want to consider before or during class:

What do we see as the similarities and differences between the 2 Thessalonians and the 2 John text? (For instance, that both were written to early Christian churches? That they have different authors? That they both mention love? …) What seem to be the most important similarities, or differences? Why do we say that?


What does loving behavior look like in 2 Thessalonians? Are there any examples in the text? What makes these examples of love, do we think? What does loving behavior look like in 2 John? Again, are there any examples in the text? What makes these examples of love, do we think? How do 2 Thessalonians and 2 John work together to give us an idea of what makes for loving behavior?


Where else do we look in scripture to inform our idea of loving behavior? (E.g., 1 Corinthians 13? 1 John 4? Ephesians 4? …) Why is that? How has our experience with these texts shaped our thinking and acting around “love” so far? How do the examples of 2 Thessalonians and 2 John fit into that, or affect that? Why do we say that?


Both 2 Thessalonians and 2 John address early Christians in the context of a difference between truth and falsehood. How does the need to hold fast to truth affect the command to love one another? How does it affect the concrete expression of love, specific loving behaviors? Why do we say this?


In what way or ways are the situations of the churches addressed in 2 Thessalonians and in 2 John similar to ours? In what way or ways are they different? How do those similarities and differences influence the way we can hear these texts, do we think? Why is that? How do they influence the way we ought to or need to hear these texts, do we think? Why is that?


What message or messages do we hear for ourselves in these texts? Do they seem to call for any changes, or for “staying the course,” or what? Which one(s) are clearest to us? Which one(s) less clear? Why do we say this?


women talking