Thought for the Day: In the sermon this morning, I will reference the word encouragement. Though it is not the central theme of the sermon, it has had me thinking about encouragement, and how we bring encouragement to others. Like so often, we are told to encourage without any real explanation of what it might look like in real life. If you’re like me, then you are probably really good in the realm of the theoretical, but when the opportunity arises in day to day life, do you look more like a distracted cheerleader? The word encourage in this passage from 1st Thessalonians comes from the Greek word – Parakaleo, a combination of para = beside or near & kaleo = to call or invite. Maybe it’s not terribly sophisticated, but it sure sounds as if encouragement requires proximity, or at least uninterrupted attentiveness. To be there for someone, and not just in passing, is where encouragement begins. This is why God is the great encourager – always present.
Prayer: Teach me how to be a source of encouragement to others. O God who abides with us, show us how to come alongside someone who needs a friend, an advocate, a confidant. Amen.
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