23 Let’s hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, because the one who made the promises is reliable.
24 And let us consider each other carefully for the purpose of sparking love and good deeds. 25 Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near.
Gathering together is at the heart of what it means to be a community of faith. In a world that has become increasingly virtual, there is comfort in meeting people face to face. One of the cruel realities of the past fifteen months is the way that we’ve been robbed of that opportunity. While it was necessary to keep people safe, it also has led to a sense of disconnection.
The life of faith can’t be lived out disconnected from other believers. It’s not healthy or helpful. When we gather, we find encouragement in each other. We see people we want to imitate. In every church I have pastored, there have been saints whose faith life was far deeper and far more vital than my own. I want to spend time with those folks so that I can learn, grow, and be challenged. When we stop meeting together, we lose those opportunities.
The writer of Hebrews is right: we can’t give up meeting together. It’s the surest path to growth.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
We are in a moment where everyone is trying to create their new normal. Through the pandemic, sales of home fitness equipment soared, which tells me a lot of people chose to make investments in their physical health. What investments will you make on the other side of the pandemic? If you want to prioritize your spiritual health, will you consider making worship and connection with other Christians part of your new normal?
Prayer: Holy God, as we get back to our new normal and begin meeting together once more, infuse our churches with the life of your Spirit. Empower us to live as Jesus lived, and spur us on to mighty works in his name. Amen.