…talking about imitation.
Imitation, a theme I have never heard a sermon on is a theme in one of Paul’s letters.
Yesterday was the second week in a four week sermon series on the first letter to the Thessalonians that we are having at Holy Trinity Huddersfield. As last week I’m trying to find soething from the passage that was not in this week’s sermon.
In the first chapter Paul recommended that the Thessalonians should imitate him. In the second he commends these Christians because they have imitated other churches. Imitation is good if you are copying the right things.
So what needs copying?
For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For we never came with words of flattery,[b] as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others,though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle[c]among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 1 Thessalonians 2:3-7.
We have to copy things that please God. Sorry, that’s a cop out as it does not say what actually pleases God.
Second try: But it isn’t things to do, but what not to do. If we are to imitate Paul, as he says he did, and he mentions not actual things but his motivation. So it was not to flatter, or out of greed, or to seek glory from people or to make demands on them. Don’t rule people, serve them,