Power of Community
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)
The writer of Hebrews sent this letter to people who wanted to quit. They started their journey as believers filled with hope and a willingness to give up everything in order to follow Jesus. They pooled their resources and gladly gave whatever they could to meet the needs of each member of their “church family.” But the fires of persecution were heating up. Finding a job was almost impossible because they were shunned by their Jewish community. Some had already gone back to their previous lives, because living as Jesus’ followers required too much.
I imagine them eagerly gathering to hear the encouraging words of this letter. After reminding them God had kept the promise of sending the Redeemer, He had sent His own Son, Jesus, the writer outlines a practical response to this great truth.
He encourages them the place to be when life falls apart is with one another. It’s in community that God keeps many of His promises. Often, hurting people run from the church, either in shame, or in concluding that faith doesn’t work when life gets messy. Yet it’s in community, in relationships with others, God keeps many of His promises to encourage and equip us for our daily lives. Growing up as a child of God takes time. We need cheerleaders who encourage us to “keep on keeping on”, and others will need us to cheer them on. The hunger for perfect unity where no division or conflicts exist, won’t be satisfied here. Yet, if we stay the course with our small group, committed to growing in Jesus, we will get glimpses of what perfect unity in Jesus will be when we all arrive Home.
In this dog-eat-dog world, we need one another to create a community that greets us with compassion, accepts us for who we are and offers us a safe place to learn, a place where we can see God’s love and forgiveness, a place where we are strengthened and encouraged to face another week. Don’t cheat yourself by avoiding covenant community. Intentionally seek out a small group of Christians and commit to doing life with them.
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