First, apologies to my writing buddies. I have neglected to interact with your comments and visit your sites for the last two weeks. Life just gets in the way sometimes.
Second, we are slowly but surely sliding into Autumn. I can hardly contain my glee. Cooler temperatures, overcast skies, sweaters, boots, warm socks. I love it all.
Not chat party for me tonight. I put off exercising until late in the day due to yet another smoke invasion. (How I hope and pray that these fires die down soon). While the gang was tapping at the keys, I was yelling at my television, telling the lady leading the program that she’s a sadist and that no, I would not do another set of push-ups.
Kate asks us to: support.
Antéchomai: to hold before or against, hold back, withstand, endure; to keep one’s self directly opposite to any one, hold to him firmly, cleave to, paying heed to him
Remember, the New Testament wasn’t written in English, not even that of King James I of England (VI of Scotland; it’s complicated). It can be helpful to study the original language – Greek – in order to gain a deeper understanding of the text. One needn’t be a scholar; being able to read or pronounce the words in the ancient tongue is definite bonus points territory, but all that is required is access to the internet, the ability to use a search engine and a desire to learn.
We find this word in 1 Thessalonians 5:14,
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.
Uphold the weak.
What does that look like? What does it mean to support the weak? And why is this a command given to us?
Maybe it has something to do with these verses, quoted in this space before, quoted so often in Christian culture,
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus is our example. Through the process of sanctification, the Holy Spirit makes us more like Him. As our Lord was humble, patient, kind, loving, all the things we think of as good, so, by grace, must we be. It’s a “go and do likewise” thing. We throw ourselves onto His lap and beg Him to carry us when we just can’t take another step. So we, receiving strength and grace from the Source of life itself, are then able to support our brothers and sisters who can’t take another step. We help them come to the feast table, the mercy seat. Then, when we ourselves are weak, our brothers and sisters help us. On and on it goes.
Sometimes this looks like dropping off a warm meal. Sometimes it’s listening while resisting the temptation to offer advice. Scrubbing floors, rubbing backs, babysitting, discussing Scripture, praying together, weeping with those who weep.
For we are all weak, are we not? In our frailty and the incompleteness of our sanctification, strength lasts but a short while. We are constantly, consistently having to return to the Lord, crying out for Him to breathe life into us once more.
It is our privilege to help each other do so.