Here's what we're wondering about: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
In this Bible reading, St Paul is talking to members of a new church. They are working together to serve the living and true God, and to wait for God's Son, Jesus', return from heaven. Paul's words are important for us today, too - do you agree?
Here's a sentence of his to share, wonder about, and take action on: "Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing."
Encourage is, I think, a beautiful word. It means to inspire ("breathe in") courage, confidence, hope; to build up, to hearten (another beautiful word!).
When you breathe in courage and hope, what do you breathe out?
Who would you like to build up, who would you like to encourage? What's a good way to do this? Who are in your top five? Top ten? (Count on your fingers!)
It's a good feeling to be recognized, appreciated, and supported. Paul has heard about the good works of faith, labors of love, and steadfastness of hope of his friends, and he takes the time to add to his letter: "as indeed you are doing."
"Keep up the good work!", he is saying.
Do you need some encouragement? St James remembers and encourages you by our prayers, and in other ways. Here are some Bible verses to give you a boost:
But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. John 14:27