“When [Barnabas] arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” Acts 11:23
We are for the most part still in some form of isolation. When we have opportunity it feels great to share encouragement and build each other up, helping everyone to refocus their attention on living and praying and sharing and staying healthy and giving glory to God.
We all experience times of joy and times of struggle in our lives. Having a place to share about them is meaningful and can help us celebrate and support one another. An encouraging community is a place where all of our experiences can be shared and we can receive support and friendship no matter what is going on around us. I have cherished the opportunity to see our community of believers on Zoom.
In Acts 4:36 we meet Barnabas, whose name means “son of encouragement.” And throughout the book of Acts we see him doing what his name suggests. He is an encourager to the apostle Paul and many of the early churches.
We all need people in our lives who encourage us, and we need to be encouragers to others. That is what Christian community does. You have all been encouragers just as Barnabas was in his day.
Father, help us to find encouragement from others and to be encouragers to people who need to hear kind words today. Amen.