1 Thessalonians 5:6-11
“Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.” vs. 11
Paul was charting new ground in his letter to the Thessalonians. He’d never been to seminary or taken a class in pastoral care…there weren’t any denominations and no one knew exactly what was going on. Paul himself had done a lot of praying and had come to depend on the Holy Spirit in the course of his travels, and along the way he had proclaimed the good news of Jesus to both Jews and Gentiles. When he moved on, he left small communities of believers who in turn had to figure things out. They baptized, gathered at the Lord’s Table and studied the Hebrew Scriptures. At times they were ridiculed and persecuted–life was hard, and they had a lot of questions. Paul knew this and did his best to offer encouragement and praise, and in so doing, he put his finger on the biggest blessing of life in community. There is such power in building one another up with kind and encouraging words. We live in a world that delights in putdowns and in dreaming up new and devious ways to strip us of confidence and spiritual strength. It starts with schoolyard bullying and continues as long as we live. As a result, our congregations are full of broken hurting people who are hungry for affirmation and encouragement. When words of kindness and affection are commonplace among us, spirits are healed and joy abounds.
Thought for the Day: Who needs my encouragement today?