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 that God had kept the promise of sending the Redeemer, that He had sent His own Son, Jesus, the writer outlines a practical response to this great truth.
He encourages them that 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, that 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 and that accepts us for who we are. That 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.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the interview "The Amish Schoolhouse Shooting – A Light in the Darkness: A Conversation with Marie Monville" so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
On October 2, 2006, Marie Monville’s husband entered an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and shot ten young girls, killing five of them, before turning the gun on himself. How does a person find hope in such darkness? How does the wife of the man who perpetrated such horror rebuild her life and the lives of her children? How could she ever forgive her husband?
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at email@example.com.