Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.” And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. –Romans 15:7-13 (ESV)
Did you know that it takes at least nine words of affirmation and encouragement to overcome one word of criticism and hatred? How do you or your family share encouraging words with each other? When was the last time you said “Way to go!” to someone or gave a pat on the back. Why is that the deer and the antelope seldom hear a discouraging word yet we hear them all the time?
As Christians, we know how life will turn out in the end – it will be in the Lord. We can praide and thank and hug others because Jesus is doing that each day to us – through the word, through the sacraments, and through all those others who love us and care for us.
As Christians, we abound in hope and affirmation because as Paul states, Jesus fills us “with all joy and peace in believing”. What a wonderful gift we have! Let’s share it with others so they may be affirmed and encouraged today.