Caring for one another. That’s part of the reason to belong to a local church family! Here’s the kind of care commanded in the New Testament: We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the powerless (Romans 15:1) We fulfill the law of the Messiah, Jesus, by bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). We might as well add 1 Thessalonians 5:14 to the mix, “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”
Daniel has a ministering angel sent to comfort and strengthen and encourage him. For three weeks Daniel’s mental and emotional health was a wreck. He was mourning for weeks. Had no strength. And God sent him a literal angel in response to his prayers! Two comforts and a challenge for you to meditate on in light of these passages:
Comfort #1 – God sees our misery. The visions in Daniel 10 are amazing. But behind Daniel seeing the future, is God first seeing Daniel’s weakness! Don’t miss that comfort! Psalm 56:8 describes God’s attention to our misery this way, “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” Every tear, every tossing, every misery is recorded in God’s book! This long COVID winter for the Christian does not go unnoticed!
Comfort #2 – God sends us a comforter. Seeing weakness doesn’t naturally move us towards the weak. It’s inconvenient. It requires patience. (See the parable of the Good Samaritan) – Daniel was sent a supernatural comforter, a literal angel, to strengthen and encourage him.
We’d all love an angel, to comfort and strengthen us. Wouldn’t you? Look again at the portrait of God’s comforters in the first paragraph. Who’s the comforters? It’s the ordinary Christian, armed with the comfort we have received from Jesus, filled with the Spirit of Jesus. Even more, we are Christ’s body. You are sent to help the weak, encourage the fainthearted (those who are discouraged) and be patient with them all.
If Jesus is better than the angels (Hebrews 1), and we have Christ in us, then we are part of God’s plan to see the misery and weakness of others and offer comfort.
Caring for One Another Challenge - Who can you care for this week? This is the beautiful ordinary life of the church, aware of one another’s weaknesses. Obligated to move towards one another as we are able. Out of love in Christ.
1 - Ballston Area Clergy Association Fund (BACA) – If you have a desire to help meet the needs of the poor in the Ballston Spa School district, we can use your help processing applications during the months of March and April! Please contact myself or the office ( ) if you’d like more information. We do ask for prayers for wisdom as we seek to show the mercy and generosity of Jesus to our neighbors.
2 – Remember to keep Juli Bickley and the Young Lives work in your prayers – Young Lives is a ministry designed to support teen moms in the Capital District. They offer relational, financial and spiritual aid and offer all kinds of discipleship opportunities to introduce Jesus to these young women and their families. On Saturday February 20th, Juli and a team of volunteers are using Hope Church to put on a couples seminar.
3 – As was mentioned at our Zoom budget meeting, the Session is putting together a financial committee to look into the options in utilizing our space, now that Spa Christian has closed. More details will be forthcoming. But if you have suggestions or ideas for how to use the space, please contact elder John Van Voorhis ( ).
4 – Personally, I’d appreciate prayer, as I’m still fighting weakness, fatigue and occasional shortness of breath. It’s not COVID. So I am working with the doctors to figure out what is happening. I’ll keep you posted.
Sunday School @ 9:00am – The Gospel According to Esther: The Hiddenness of God
Esther is the only book where God’s name isn’t mentioned. This is intentional, teaching us that “God is omnipotently present even where God is most conspicuously absent.” What does it mean to trust a God who hides himself? Bring your questions and see you on Zoom and in the social distanced - sanctuary.
Worship – Daniel 10 – Don’t be Afraid of the Future -
Daniel 10-12 are all one long vision of this reality – “The world goes not well, but God’s kingdom comes.” Join us Sunday as we look at how greatly loved Daniel was and how we receive better in Jesus!
Grace and peace,