Galatians 6:2 – Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (KJV)
John 21:17 – He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (KJV)
My wife and I have a bird feeder hanging just outside our kitchen window, and we enjoy watching the various kinds of birds that come to eat. Throughout one summer, two blue jays, in all probability mates who must have had a nest nearby, regularly visited the feeder. My wife and I were saddened to observe that one of the birds had a seriously deformed beak which made normal feeding very difficult. Watching quietly, however, we were intrigued to observe that the normal bird was feeding its handicapped mate in the same manner as it fed their young. In observing the physical limitations of the handicapped bird, it seemed likely that the normal mate must also have borne most of the burden of feeding and caring for their young.
As we observed the birds quietly dealing with their unusual situation, we could not help but question whether we as Christians are as watchful as we need to be for the welfare of each other. As ours is a "one another" religion, we have a responsibility not only to respond to a need once it has been become apparent, but also to proactively discern where there may be a potential need and head it off. In a church context, this could mean something as simple as, when someone misses a worship service, making inquiry as to the reasons.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, as "one another" Christians, to be ever watchful for each other's needs, and provide us with the willingness and grace and wisdom to respond to them. Amen.