1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)
11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

We should not only be concerned about the welfare and comfort of ourselves, but we should also be concerned about the welfare and comfort of others. We are to pray for one another. We should communicate what we have learned through our own experiences to others. We are to build each other us through reassurance, kindness and comfort.



During the last days of the Third Reich, as Allied bombs rained down on Stuttgart and the Nazi terror writhed in its final death throes, Helmut Thielicke preached a remarkable series of sermons based on the Lord's Prayer. These were days of uncertainty and death. On more than one occasion, the shriek of air raid sirens interrupted his sermon. Thielicke writes that during this period there were times when he felt utterly stricken: "My work in Stuttgart seemed to have gone to pieces; and my listeners were scattered to the four winds; the churches lay in rubble and ashes."

In one of his messages, based upon the petition "Thy kingdom come," Thielicke describes an encounter with a woman from his congregation. He was standing in the street looking down into the pit of a cellar�all that remained from a building that an Allied bomb had shattered. The woman approached him and declared, "My husband died down there. His place was right under the hole. The clean-up squad was unable to find a trace of him; all that was left was his cap."

What does a pastor say in a moment like this? "I'm sorry" hardly seems adequate. But the woman had not come to Thielicke for sympathy. She wanted to express her gratitude. "We were there the last time you preached in the cathedral church," she continued. "And here before this pit I want to thank you for preparing him for eternity." [John Koessler, "Helmut Thielicke: Preaching Amidst the Rubble," A Stanger in the House of God blog (6-24-10)]


As Christians we build up one another. We share personal experiences that give hope and meaning to others. As in the story above we can find comfort in the shared words of another. We can know the assurance of an eternity with God. So continue to encourage one another and you have already been doing.