You observed the sort of life we lived when we were with you, which was for your instruction, and you were led to become imitators of us, and of the Lord; and it was with the joy of the Holy Spirit that you took to the gospel, in spite of the great opposition all round you.
This has made you the great example to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia since it was from you that the word of the Lord started to spread – and not only throughout Macedonia and Achaia, for the news of your faith in God has spread everywhere.
We do not need to tell other people about it: other people tell us how we started the work among you, how you broke with idolatry when you were converted to God and became servants of the real, living God; and how you are now waiting for Jesus, his Son, whom he raised from the dead, to come from heaven to save us from the retribution which is coming.
Second reading for 30th Sunday of the Lord
1 Thessalonians 1:5-10
The imitation of Christ is a work entrusted to the Church and to all Christians.
It is a work that includes a turning to Christ and from all that is not Christ; a turning from all that is not of God and a turning to all that fulfils the will of God for human life (and creation more generally) to flourish.
The imitation of Christ therefore requires a discerning faith, ready to assess what is living and lovely, and what is marked by sin and death: and an active faith ready to change the way we live so it accords with truth and love.
On these moments of choice and deepening understanding the Lord himself builds, working with us to assist us to his salvation
Medusa Head, Basilica Cistern Istanbul. (c) 2002, Allen Morris