1 Thessalonians 4:9 Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, 11 to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, 12 so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and be dependent on no one.
We see in v.9 the phrase “love of the brothers and sisters…” which in the original Greek language is actually one word “philadelphia”. Yep, just like the name of the city in Pennsylvania. It’s love of people you know well, like siblings or really good friends.
Living in metro Dallas there are lots of people who move here with no family or friends in place. They mostly move here to find jobs, just as I did. It was six years ago August 1st that I started serving as pastor of Rejoice Lutheran Church in suburban Dallas. The “philadelphia” my family and I encountered within the church has been truly wonderful. In fact, when we talk with new members to the church they all mention this experience of Rejoice. They don’t use the Greek word, of course, but what they describe is the “philadelphia” they experienced – that they were welcomed with open arms as family.
I love my church!