Lent Devotional: Hebrews 10:24-25
by Jonathan Haefs
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.
Why do we gather?
I mean seriously… week after week… Sunday after Sunday… why do we gather together as a church?
We can study the Word of God on our own. We all have a copy and through the internet we also have access to endless study resources. Even if we want to listen to a sermon, we can hear the greatest preachers on the planet via podcasts.
We can listen to amazing worship music and sing along (at a volume level of our choosing) through any number of music streaming services. I can “get my worship on” anywhere.
I mean seriously… everything we meet together to do on a Sunday, I can do all by myself… so what is the point?
Oh Shades… there is a massive point!
When we gather, we experience a multiplicity of things that we simply cannot experience alone. We stand (or sit) amongst the people of God, lift our voices together… not just to the Lord, but over one another… encouraging one another and stirring up the faith of one another. Christ in me meets Christ in you.
When we gather, we collectively submit ourselves to the Word and to pastoral leadership… we bear witness to the world that we are a part of a body, not merely on a personal journey of spiritual enlightenment. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the reasons we should not forsake gathering as a community.
It is only in the community of the church that we are able to stir one another up to love and good works… that we encourage one another to press on… that we hold each other accountable… that we forgive and are forgiven… that we are actually a part of the bride of Christ!
You, as an individual, are not the bride of Christ! The church is the bride of Christ… and you are a part of his bride by being a part of the church… not just the global church, but the local church! The global church is made up of local churches.
It is in this local community, as we consistently gather, that we sacrifice ourselves for one another… considering how to stir up one another… considering how to give of myself for the sake of someone else. It is in this local community that we take on the shape of the cross and learn to be a cruciform community.