Building Up

This week’s devotion is written by Grace Heimerdinger-Baake, Director of Youth and Family Ministry.

Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

In early May, builders began excavating the land next to our home to complete our housing development. For a three-year-old, seeing a house being built is the most exciting thing ever. We spent hours on the porch and deck watching the dirt be lifted up from the ground and dumped into a pile next to the soon to be built home (thus, leaving a large and deep hole, before the foundation could be laid). 

Now that my three year old has become fascinated over the different types of machinery, I was corrected on the way home from daycare because I mistakenly called a backhoe an excavator. The difference is a backhoe digs by pulling the earth back to itself while an excavator lifts up the earth. 

As I thought more and more about how these different machines dig and remove the earth from itself and how this experience could be tied to the Bible, I was reminded of Paul’s letter to the people of Thessalonica. Paul writes his letter to encourage the community to continue to give comfort to each other and to build each other up as they were experiencing persecution as being fellows of Christ. 

We, too, are called to give comfort to our neighbors and to lift them up as we have been lifted up with the promise of the resurrected Jesus and the new life we have in him. Our acts of comfort may be our silent presence as we listen to our friend’s struggles. We may lift up our neighbor by surprising them with a cup of coffee,  a plate of cookies or a simple wave and hello as we go out to mow the grass. As we lift up and comfort our neighbor, may we share the love of Jesus. 

Jesus, as an excavator lifts up the dirt from the earth, help us to lift up our neighbors in love, understanding, and prayer. Amen.