We can never know everything that our days will hold –

But we can know that God will be with us.

Take a breath.

Let God prepare you for the unknown.

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What we are saying is a message from the Lord: we who are alive and still around at the Lord’s coming definitely won’t go ahead of those who have died. This is because the Lord himself will come down from heaven with the signal of a shout by the head angel and a blast on God’s trumpet. First, those who are dead in Christ will rise. Then, we who are living and still around will be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet with the Lord in the air. That way we will always be with the Lord. So encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

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I love the last verse of this passage: “So encourage each other with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). As Christians, we have an exciting, comforting, life-changing belief – that we will live after death with God, forever! But sometimes this belief can be hard to maintain, particularly when we are experiencing loss or sadness.

This is why we are not meant to believe on our own. God encourages us to not only be individuals of hope, but to be part of communities of hope. In these communities, we can tell each other – again and again – the Good News. Sometimes we will feel equipped to speak hope to someone else. Sometimes we will need someone else to speak that hope to us.

Is there someone you know who is in need of encouragement? Think of ways you might be able to provide an encouraging message. Are you the one in need of encouragement? Think of someone who might be able to hear your struggle.

Megan McDermott

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My comforter and hope, surround me with those who will encourage me through hard times. I offer myself as a source of encouragement for others. Keep me connected to the hope that is in you, God, hope beyond my understanding. Amen.

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Are you ready to love? Serve? Give? To seek joy in tough moments?

Go, and find out.

Megan McDermott

Megan McDermott is in her final year of study at Yale Divinity School, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and Yale's Institute of Sacred Music. She is in the ordination process in the Episcopal Church.

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