Encouragement, which comes in many forms, is necessary for healthy and faithful relationships. We have the ability to encourage another by offering affirmation. And yet, sometimes we should not be affirmed. At times, our encouragement needs not to show up as affirmation, but to show up in the form of exhortation, where we are encouraging others to live more faithfully.
Through acknowledgment of what is, by naming sin that exists, by naming our participation and benefit from sin, freedom becomes possible. Because of God’s love in Jesus Christ, we can claim our sin, we can be made new, and we can have a new life that exemplifies God’s love.
Listening is redemptive; it has the power to change lives and communities. If we’re going to see positive change in the world – if we’re going to see positive change in our own community – we have to start listening.
In recent weeks, if it wasn’t already known, it has become quite clear, we are an ungrateful people. We need a reset to rethink our relationships, our expectations, and our place in the community. We need, like the healed Samaritan Leper, to be a bit more grateful for the life – the new life – we are offered in Jesus Christ.
We are called to more intentional care for one another by establishing a more nurturing faith community. That’s part of what it means to be Making a Place for Everyone.
Consumerism is not the rejection of spirituality for materialism. For many people, consumerism is a type of spirituality – if offers purpose, meaning, and identity.