Encouraging Each Other
It’s Monday, but it is not a normal Monday. Like every other parent in Michigan, my kids are home from school, and we’re trying to figure out how to use the time beyond video games, Netflix, and endless lounging around. The kids aren’t the only ones trying to figure out life. I’m currently in my office at church, trying to figure out my new routine as well. Social distancing makes pastoral ministry a wee bit more challenging.
With each new mandate to be socially distant, I find myself immediately thinking about Hebrews 10:25, “let us not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” The early Christians were facing their own trying situations and yet were compelled to keep meeting and encouraging each other in the face of those hardships. I’m not proposing we disregard the government mandates to socially distance ourselves, but I do keep wondering how we can meet together and encourage each other when we shouldn’t go anywhere?
This is my first attempt at answering that question. It’s not perfect, and you likely have other ideas I would love to hear. That being said, here are some practical thoughts for how we can be the body of Christ throughout the weeks ahead.
Monday – Call one or two people in your elder/deacon care group. I’ve encouraged the elders and deacons to be in contact with you all, but you can do this too!!! Every Monday call a few different people and talk. Encourage them with scripture, offer to pray with them, you can even just talk about life. But getting talking. Be a connected body!
Tuesday – Send an email or write something on Facebook to another person as a means of encouragement. You could of course call people too, whatever you are most comfortable with.
Wednesday – Make a list of praises and prayers and spend time praying for the church body. You can even call someone up and pray together for a while!
Thursday – Send some cards to shut-ins. Many of our shut-ins are in nursing homes and unable to have visitors right now. Make a practice to send them cards so they know they are loved.
Friday – Turn off the news, bundle up, and sit outside for a bit. Talk to people who may be walking by. Offer words of encouragement. Offer to pray for them. If you are able, walk through your community a bit and pray over the people living there.
Saturday – Pick one of the activities from the week, and do it again.
Sunday – Listen to music that points you to Christ. Watch/listen to the sermon we post online, and write questions in the comments. Interact with the message and text. Keep in mind that the Spirit of God unites us together in Christ, even when we are physically distant.
Life is different right now, but as I’ve said before, God is still in control. It is my hope and prayer that as we endure this season, God will bind us together in ways we never dreamed possible. Let’s put Hebrews 10:25 into practice and encourage one another through the joy we have in Christ.