What has Paul worried is not a sermon from the pulpit or a blurb in the notes; it’s a frightening whispering campaign, racing quickly and quietly through the congregation. “The end of the world is here. We’re all going to die” or words to that effect. Paul’s response is patient and sure: Remember that God has chosen you. Hold fast to what we taught you. And remember that God has wonders in store for you.
Our reading finishes with Paul’s powerful benediction in 2:16-17: ” Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.” Yeah.