Today's Lectionary Text
1 Thessalonians 5:11-15
Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.
When I was younger, “Toy Story” was one of my favorite movies. I would watch it over and over, seeing the friendship that develops between Woody and Buzz. I enjoy the movie and even like the new editions, 2, 3 and 4.
For me, one of the most iconic parts of the movie is Randy Newman’s song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” The song is catchy and easily gets stuck in your head. However, its message of being there for your friends no matter what is important. Even if the path looks scary or you’re far away from the friends, to know people there is someone there for you.
The letter to the Thessalonians also conveys a similar message: “encourage one another and build up each other … encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them.” For me this is the pinnacle of what Christians community should look like. It should be a place where all people can be accepted and cared for in the ups of life and the low points. No matter where people are at, they are welcomed into the friendship and fellowship of God. And when you think about it, the church is much like Andy’s toy box: full of different toys of every shape and size, of different colors and with different purposes and roles. However, all of them whether a shiny new toy like Buzz Lighter or the older Woody, come together and encourage each other along the way and how each is needed. So, today who do you have a friend in, and who can you encourage in love?
First United Methodist Omaha
Prayer for Reflection
Gracious and loving God, your divine friendship with us shows us how we should care for others in the world. May we be encouragers and show all they have a friend in us and in a relationship with you. Amen.
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