What a gift God has given us in one another! Yes, at times our relationships are messy. They require us to lay down our lives for one another, to be honest about our own struggles and weaknesses. Rick noted last week in his sermon that the reason there are so many Scriptures about how we need to “one another one another” is because love for one another is not our default position. We need to work at it. But I cannot imagine making this faith journey alone, without the love and support of my sisters and brothers in Christ.
I came across a story this week that reminded me of how much we need one another. One cold winter day, American evangelist Dwight L. Moody was visiting a prominent citizen and sharing the gospel with him. The man claimed that he could be just as good a Christian outside the church as in it. Without a word of rebuttal, Moody walked over to the fireplace, took a pair of tongs, removed a blazing coal from the fire and set it by itself on the hearth. Then the two men watched in silence as the coal gradually smoldered and went out. “I see” said the man.
This week we will look at the last text in our series on “one anothering." The author of Hebrews gives us three images of our life in community – we are people who together draw near to God in faith, hold fast to our hope and spur one another on to love and good works. I encourage you to read the text before Sunday and spend some time pondering and meditating on these images. We’ll explore together on Sunday why and how we must spur one another on to love and good works.
Our worship guide (bulletin) can be downloaded here.
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.