Date: Monday, January 6 (Epiphany)
Scripture: Romans 1:1-15
Verse: or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. (Romans 1:12)
In a song you probably know, Paul Simon penned the words, “I am a rock. I am an island.” In the midst of difficulty and struggle, this is who we long to be. One who can simply withstand on our own, who longs to solve our own problems, who doesn’t want to burden others with our hurts. This is not the biblical model.
John Wesley described the society meetings of the Methodist movement, as groups have three purposes: “to pray together, to receive the word of exhortation, and to watch over one another in love, that they may help each other to work out their salvation” (2012 United Methodist Book of Discipline location 2271, emphasis added). It seems in many ways we have lost touch with the third one, watching over one another in love to help each other work out our salvation. In our highly individualized society, especially in the arena of faith, we tend to keep to ourselves, but we would do well to find others with whom to journey through this life of faith.
Opening his letter to the church in Rome, the Apostle Paul writes of longing to be with those in the church there. He tells of trying to come to them, but things never quite working out. He longs to share his faith with them, and to enter into a relationship where he and they can me “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” What a great model for continued growth in our relationship with Jesus – to enter into one another’s lives for “mutual encouragement,” or in the words of Wesley, “to watch over one another in love.”
We are not rocks, nor are we islands. We need Christ and one another.
Prayer: Give me the courage and opportunity, O God, to enter into a relationship of mutual encouragement. Amen.
Action: Identify someone or a small group of people with whom you can enter into this type of relationship. Take the bold step of inviting them to meet over coffee.
Respond: How have you benefited from the faith of another? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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“The General Rules of the Methodist Church.” The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2012. Nashville, TN: United Methodist Pub. House, 2012. Kindle.