Monday, June 1st, 2009
"Speak consolingly to the depressed souls, support the weak." (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
In addition to giving assistance and encouragement locally, the first-century congregations at times organized relief measures in behalf of believers in other places. For example, when the prophet Agabus foretold that “a great famine was about to come upon the entire inhabited earth,” the disciples in Syrian Antioch “determined, each of them according as anyone could afford it, to send a relief ministration to the brothers dwelling in Judea.” This was dispatched to the elders there “by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.” (Acts 11:28-30) What about today? “The faithful and discreet slave” has organized relief committees to care for our brothers who may be affected by natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or tsunamis. (Matthew 24:45) Voluntarily contributing our time, effort, and resources in cooperation with this arrangement is a fine way for us to display mercy.
(Watchtower issue: 09/15/07, 2:6, 7)
*the timing of today's text is perfect, since at the meeting yesterday a sister from Texas made the comment that hurricane season starts today. -So we should keep that in mind, since many of our brothers and sisters are still recovering from the effects of the last hurricane, and not forget about them in our prayers, and contributions to the relief work. She also mentioned how the Relief Committee in Galveston has pretty much gone from being a temporary arrangement to a permanent setup now.