You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
— 1 Thessalonians 1:6

My three-year-old granddaughter is full of life and joy. Every time she runs into our house or I walk into theirs, she shouts, “Grandma, my ‘mini me’!” She is thrilled as she shouts the good news. No one can miss it. I have often suggested that she might be my “mini me” (since she is a lot like me), but she insists that I am her “mini me.” We share mannerisms and a flare for shopping, and we both tend to be optimistic. We have serious discussions about life, giggle about nothing, and enjoy afternoon naps.
Paul commends the church at Thessalonica that they have stayed strong in faith by following his example and that of other leaders—and ultimately by following Jesus, despite the hardship and suffering in their life. They have set an example of how to serve and live by the Spirit with joy. They have learned to access all the empowerment and energy they need in order to live through the Spirit.
Whoever we are, on any given day we are following someone or leading someone. Our challenge is to follow those who imitate Jesus and to lead those who need to know him.

Lord and God, help us to imitate you. May we live by the joy you have given us. May we be empowered by your Spirit. May someone see you in us today. Amen.

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