Jesus “died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thess. 5:11)

Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of eternal perspective. Thank you for heart-centering, mouth-engaging gift of looking at life from heaven’s viewpoint. There’s still a lot we don’t have any control over. Plenty going on—in us and around us, that can be fear-fueling, “hackle”-raising, and hope-sapping.

But in our most Gospel-sane moments, here’s the deal—the “skinny,” the bottom line. You died for us that we may be with you—right now, and forever. You want us that much, Lord Jesus. Why do we forget this? Why would anything matter more to us? Why do we doubt you love us this much, Jesus?

Because you do love us, desire us, and enjoy us; and determine our days, sorrows, and Home-coming day… free us to focus on encouraging those around us this weekend—blessing, and building them up.

Fill our hearts with your Spirit and fresh enjoyment of you. Shape and empower our words with your mercy and grace. Let us “catch each other doing it right” this weekend. We get enough criticism, indifference, and “canceling” from other sources.

And should this be the weekend we “fall asleep” in you, we are grateful to know we’ll wake up in your presence, to your beauty, and the most glorious welcome imaginable. So very Amen we pray, in your kind and Kingly name.