“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV).
For the past several weeks, our world has been dealing with the effects of the coronavirus. In the midst of this challenging time, I have seen some powerful examples of people caring for each other. I read an article about a community in the United Kingdom that was on lock-down because of the virus. Some children in that community offered encouragement to their neighbors by placing pictures of rainbows in their windows. I heard about some communities that had parades so that their local school children who aren’t able to go to school at this time can wave to their teachers from their cars. These are creative ways to provide encouragement in a time when we aren’t able to meet in groups and encourage each other face to face.
In the Shenandoah District, church leaders are finding creative ways to encourage people in their congregations. Many pastors are making phone calls, sending emails, or snail mail, and posting sermons and Bible studies on Facebook. Even though we can’t meet together as a church, we are finding creative ways to stay connected and encourage each other.
In the midst of this worldwide pandemic, I see the people of God taking seriously God’s call in Hebrews 10:24-25 to find ways to give encouragement to each other. Giving encouragement during this time means that as the Body of Christ, we have to think outside of the box in order to answer God’s call on our lives. Even though we are not in church together at this time, we can still encourage each other and be the church that God has called us to be.
As we let our creative juices flow and find creative ways to care for each other, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, we are showing the world that no virus can stop the church from being the church. Since we can’t meet together right now, let’s make phone calls, or send an email, or maybe even put a colorful picture in a window to show that we care. Let’s never allow anything to stop us from finding ways to encourage each other.
Let us pray:
Dear Lord, we thank you for being with us during this challenging time. During this Holy week, as we focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus, help us rise up and show your love and compassion to people in the world around us. During this time, when we can’t meet together in our churches, we ask that you would continue to give us creative ideas about how we can do your work in the world. Give us the courage to be willing to do something new and creative in order to bring encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to the people in the world around us.
It is in the name of Jesus Christ that we pray, AMEN.
In Christ’s service,
Pastor, Stone Church of the Brethren
Member of Congregational Care Team