“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” is a series of church worker wellness devotions. Visit lcms.org/wellness for more resources.

By Dr. John Eckrich, founder of Grace Place Wellness Ministries and physician


When we look at Scripture, we find functional as well as dysfunctional families.

Rebekah guided her son, Jacob, to deceive his father, Isaac, to receive the blessing meant for Esau.

Joseph’s brothers decided to sell him into slavery in Egypt because they were jealous of the favoritism his father gave him.

Eve convinced Adam to eat the fruit God had forbidden them to eat because she listened to the devil’s lies.

But we also remember Aaron and Hur’s support for their brother, Moses, as he led the children of Israel out of Egypt.

We think of Mary, who encouraged Jesus to help out at a wedding feast when they had no more wine.

We consider John, who took Mary home to live with him at the request of his dying friend, our Lord Jesus.

The Bible says:

“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.” (Heb. 10:24–25)

God gave us the support of families to keep us grounded in faith and with whom to share an agape space, where we can be loved as our sinner-saint selves.

In our families we stir one another up with devotions, discussion and time together in the Word or sharing what the Lord has done in our lives that day.

Who makes up your family support?

Even when families are imperfect, as they always are, they are valuable resources to find and to seek love and forgiveness.

We are given the opportunity to show patience in kindness for our families, also, when they are not at their best.

God’s gift of family is wider. He gives us the love of Christ to fill in the places where people do not come through.

He gives us others in the Body of Christ to give and receive care to and from.

Who is in your “extended family” given to you by God?

Thank you, Father, for the gift of families. Help us to create agape places where Your love is shared and shines. In Your Son, and through Your Spirit we pray and act. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Grace Place Wellness was founded in 1999 by Dr. John D. Eckrich. He served the St. Louis community, including Lutheran church workers and their families, as an internist and gastroenterologist for more than 35 years. Dr. Eckrich is the author of Vocation and Wellness: Renew Your Energy for Christian Living. He and his wife, Kathy, have three grown children and live in the St. Louis area.

“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” devotions and prayers will be released Monday mornings on the LCMS Facebook and Twitter pages. Church Worker Wellness devotions will also be archived online.

LCMS church workers and their families are invited to offer encouragement to other workers and families by submitting a 500-word devotion for the Synod’s worker-to-worker wellness devotion series. Email questions and submissions to workerwellness@lcms.org.