Lettuce consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Lettuce not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
but lettuce encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
—Hebrews 10: 24-25
The Invitation: These became the Bible’s lettuce verses for me as I thought of creative ways to memorize scriptures for the Experiencing God study years ago. And, if you can be-leaf it, the verses have ro-mained with me!*
With the pandemic, most of us have gotten out of the habit of reading the Bible as a group and meeting together. I’ve heard people say they prefer listening to a podcast or watching church in their living room. It’s easier and faster. They can stay in their pj’s and mute or fast forward through music they don’t care for.
Last week I attended my first socially undistanced event at our church–a memorial service. The sanctuary was full, and I saw people I hadn’t seen for a year and a half. We gathered to remember a life well-lived—someone we all cared about. We comforted one another and were reassured that the promise of eternal life is real. The peace and hope of God was passed from one person to another. Many of us left that service asking God to help us love more extravagantly and live more generously. And when we see each other again, we’ll be able to ask one another how it’s going.
That was church. No, not the building, although we need a place to gather on a regular basis. It was the people. The Christian life is meant to be lived in community—not just for what I can get out of it, but for what I have to give and you have to give that people will miss out on if we don’t show up.
We can get information about Jesus and grow in our understanding of the Bible on our own. We can pray and worship in our personal quiet time. But it’s through my church community that I’ve been refined, challenged, encouraged, and held to a higher standard than at the grocery store, soccer field, or workplace. Church is where someone will not only empathize with me, but will pray with me. Church is where I’m made aware of my rough edges through another’s gentleness. Church is where I have opportunities to give in ways that make a difference for eternity.
Whenever possible, lettuce meet together.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another,
especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
—Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)
Your Response: Today, talk with the Lord about your going-to-church feelings. Ask Him what He wants to say to you through these verses. If you’d like some prompts, try these:
- Lord, show me how I feel about church right now. What does my heart for the church look like?
- Now Lord, show me Your heart for Your church.
- If my heart doesn’t line up with Your heart, Lord, may the Holy Spirit to set it aright. Do I need to die to selfishness in some way or exchange apathy for action? (Take time to listen and respond.)
- Lord, You say that the church is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:25-27). May I be given Christ’s heart for the church. May I serve Your church and love Your people. Is there anything specific You want me to know or do?
*P.S. I was thinking of including more salad jokes in this post, but I tossed them.