“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 12:24-25
After many weeks at home, we are looking for little day trips to add some sort of adventure to our lives. Last week our drive took us to my hometown of Thomaston, Georgia. For me this little cotton mill town holds a bulk of my extended family and a whole lot of memories. After a few hours of visiting with family on the back porch, my brother in law suggested we take a drive down memory lane. After viewing my childhood home, we headed over one block to the football field. As we drove past I could actually feel the excitement I once knew while sitting in the stands with my friends and cheering on my school team.
I remembered the sense of belonging that I felt, the sound of the band playing, and of course the cheerleaders jumping around and shouting to build excitement in the stands as well as on the field. I even recited a ridiculous old cheer I can still remember.
I was never a school cheerleader, but always envied those who were. Back then, they seemed to be the popular, the beautiful and definitely the most desirable girls. As I have always understood it, besides being a trophy girlfriend for the football players, their role was to move the fans from sitting in the stands to rising up and engaging in team spirit. There were certain cheers that were used when the team and fans were in a slump and then those loud and boisterous cheers that escalated as the numbers on the scoreboard added up.
Although most of us never had the opportunity to be a high school cheerleader, the role of cheerleader is still available and very much needed. I can’t think of a greater time than now that a slew of cheerleaders are needed. It seems that the first wave of the virus has slowed a bit, but now we see the aftermath cresting. More pay cuts, job lay-offs and business closures leaves many standing in the shock of it all. Parents are exhausted from working and homeschooling. Isolation is taking its toll on lives and the lack of gathering for encouragement and building up of our faith is showing up in anxiety and a bit of weariness.
So the big questions seem to be: What next? What can I do? How can I help?
I suggest we all take on the role of cheerleader. Not ridiculous chants or half-hearted words, but true loving encouragement. One of the descriptions of a cheerleader is “spirit-raiser.” Is that not what our key verse calls us to?
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Consider. The Amplified Translation adds, “Give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up to love and helpful deeds and noble activities.” It is an intentional and continuous act that we are all privileged to participate in.
Cheering and encouraging makes a big impact on others.
As spiritual cheerleaders, we too can be spirit-raisers as we help move others from sitting to standing and engaging in a fiery rally that brings us closer together.
So I’m inviting you to join in the pep rally. I’m asking the Spirit to bring the fire. In prayer, let’s circle around the fire and rally together. Let’s declare truth. Let’s encourage one another. Let’s cheer one another on. Let’s speak truth in love. Let’s share what we have and give out of our abundance. Let’s do good deeds.
Share the scripture.
Write the card.
Strike the chord and post the song.
Help the neighbor.
Pray the prayer.
Let’s pull together team.
The Day, the last days are approaching and the word tells us we will need to consider how to cheer, encourage, admonish, stir up, love, give and serve.
I think I hear the band and see the cheerleaders gathering...