Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, (25) 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.
The church is the people, not the place or the programs. Sometimes the church meets in a certain place and has programs, but do not be mistaken, the church is the people. There is something special that happens when we gather together. We come in as individuals with strengths and weaknesses. We come in with different personalities, spiritual gifts and talents. Yet, as we gather together for the purpose of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism we find fulfilment in the gospel and in one another. God has given us our brothers and sisters in Christ to aide in our spiritual development.
As a pastor I get a front row seat to see the congregation gathered together each Sunday. I see folks going through trials in life blessed by those who use their talents to sing and introduce a new song or hymn to the congregation. I see those who are discouraged become encouraged by the words of faithful friends. I see the formerly lonely now greeted with handshakes, hugs, and high-fives. I see individuals praying with one another through times of crisis and celebration. I see tears of sorrow made more bearable by those who silently come along side and offer comfort. I see a lot of things.
Sometimes we are tempted to think when we skip out on meeting together that the only things we are missing are the songs and the sermon, but what we really miss is the life of the church. We are told to consider one another. This text was originally written for a church that was suffering persecution. They weren’t able to meet in public places. Yet they are told not to forsake assembling together… because they needed each other. They needed to be there for their brothers/sisters and they needed their brothers/sisters there for them. We are foolish today if we don’t think that we need each other as well. We should strive to meet with our brothers and sisters in Christ whenever we can.
Father, thank you for your church. Thank you that you have given us brothers and sisters in Christ. Give us grace to know how to help, encourage, and strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ when they need is. May they always be there for us in real and tangible ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.