Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Visitation of Virgin Mary to Elizabeth - Encouraging One another 

John Pazhayidathu
Long Island MTC, NY
The letter to Hebrews was written to believers who were skeptical about their new found faith. The writer was trying to sustain the community’s faith by establishing the fact that Jesus’s death and resurrection was above their preconceived notions of religion- they were no longer bound by the practices of the past.  Chapter 10:24-25 states that as believers we have to create a community with one another in order to stir up love and good works. The book of Hebrews is commonly known as the book of exhortations as the writer asks believers to come together encouraging one another. As it is said, no man is an island; fellowship with fellow believers fosters compassion, encouragement, and a helping hand.
1.    Compassionate heart
The ability to have a compassionate heart is the quality of a true believer. We cannot be idle at the face of pain and suffering. One of the shortest but most powerful verses in the Bible, “Jesus wept”, illustrates the compassion the Lord held for others. Likewise, we need to make a conscious effort to break out of our comfort zone and offer compassion to those around us. When the world looks first to tear someone down, a Christian’s first response should be to exhort one another.
2.            Encouraging word.
Our words are very powerful; it can make or break lives. A common theme in many successful people’s stories shows how an encouraging word helped them make a turning point in their life. As believers we should never shy away from giving an encouraging or comforting word to others.
3.            Helping hand   
We have to share our recourses because these are gifts from God. Whatever it is we have been blessed in excess with, whether it be talents, physical abilities, money, etc, sharing these with others in need is also the responsibility of a true believer.

We can see these qualities exemplified in the relationship between Mary, mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth. When Mary went through a difficult time she reached out to Elizabeth, perhaps the only person who would understand her. Elizabeth’s compassionate heart and encouraging word comforted her and gave her confidence to follow through on God’s plan for her. She was able to forget all her worries and sang a song glorifying GOD. That is the power of fellowship. Likewise, there are many people going through situations where compassion and encouragement could turn a bad situation into one with grace. Let us not make the mistake of passing judgment on them without understanding their situations.
Rather than making judgment upon them, we need to show them a compassionate heart, speak to them comforting words and if necessary giving a helping hand. We need to assure them, no matter what, we are with them.


Lord open our mind so that we can consider one another with a compassionate heart, with words of encouragement and a helping hand. Help us to show one another the beauty of Christian fellowship. Amen.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31