November 16

Hebrews 10:19-25

“And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” vss. 24-25

Followers of Jesus are called to life in community…and it’s been like that since the early days of the church. We see from our scriptures that the disciples came together immediately following the resurrection, regularly meeting for prayer, teaching, and encouragement. The writer to the Hebrews knows that practice and in his words we catch a hint of discouragement…some are neglecting to come together. Two thousand years later we know what that’s about…we see it in our congregations every week. As a result millions of Christians are missing the mutual encouragement to engage in love and good deeds, and the church is weakened in its witness. God knows some folks have good reasons for their absence…there are always conflicts and sometimes we can be downright nasty to one another. But there’s seldom growth in isolation. Alone we get fixated on our own needs and desires and can easily drift away from our baptismal callings. Some of us know what that feels like. When we return to our church family after being away it feels so good to be welcomed and loved. It’s what Christ promised: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst.”

Thought for the Day: Excuses I’ve used for not worshipping with others.

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