Each week one person from our room picks a verse that relates to the “theme” of what we've been learning about lately and looks deeper into it to share with the rest of the room. Weeks 5 and 6 we focused on Community, learning about the intention and importance of it. I wanted to share the verse that I chose and the teaching I did on it because it sums up most of what I have been learning these last couple weeks. I hope you're encouraged by it.
The verse I chose to dive into and share with my room is Hebrews 10:24-25
“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”
To start with a little context I looked a bit into the history of the verse. We still don’t know for sure who the author of Hebrews is but what we DO know, and perhaps more importantly, is that the author wrote this letter to Judaea Christians that were living in Jerusalem at the time. We know that the author knew these people very personally and it shows in the way he speaks to and moves to convict these newly converted Christians. The author writes to this group of people with encouragement in a call to faith and endurance because many were facing terrible persecution and were considering calling it quits, leaving the church, and reverting back to Judaism to escape the prosecution.
Hebrews was written around 63-64 AD, about 30 years after the resurrection and only about 6 before the temple was entirely destroyed by the Romans…. This gives you an idea of the level of unrest these people were facing. The author, because he is writing to Christians that had knowledge of and faith in the OT, often quotes and references the OT in LIGHT of the new gospel that Jesus’s birth, life, death, and resurrection presents. He reminds them that Jesus is above all leaders, angels, and prophets. In this chapter, in particular, the author is trying to convey that we MUST encourage one another and come together in community to endure and build one another up in faith.
“and let us consider…” The word consider stood out to me in this section because it was used almost universally in different versions of the bible. I think this word is important to take note of because it describes the action of continually having others' needs and self in mind. In this context “…how to stir up one another to love and good works…” we are called to continually seek out how to bring out what is Christ-like in them. How can we serve others in a way that allows them to serve others as well? How can we create environments that demonstrate the value of loving and caring for one another?
“…not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another..” This part of the verse points out the importance of physically coming face to face with one another. This is part of the reason we have Fam nights and huddles. This time spent together, pouring into, serving, and caring for one another is not JUST to get to know one another more, but rather to build up a faith-centered community and encourage and hold one another accountable in our walk with the lord, all while encouraging one another to bring out our gifts to serve one another.
“and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” You may notice the word day is capitalized. This means that the author is referring to Christ’s return and judgment. He is pointing out the urgency of the gospel. Our eternity is at stake. A community is not only essential it is also urgent. It is so crucial to be continually building one another up and pointing each other to Christ. To show one another what it means to live for God by the way we love and care for one another is not expendable to our faith, it is necessary to the Christian life.
I mentioned a few weeks back the meaning behind our room name Parks Hall and that our leader's main prayer for our room that we would grow to be women of resiliency. I think encouragement as a common theme in Hebrews is also fitting for our room because it tells a story of encouragement towards resiliency and perseverance. Just as God draws us up out of the pits, we are also called to draw one another up. We will all face persecution and hard seasons and tests. Meaning all of your brothers and sisters in Christ will also see harder times. It is our role to see one another through those times while pointing eachother to live for heaven.
Loving someone goes so far beyond not “hating them” or a feeling an emotion towards them, but it means to serve them ACTIVELY. This passage is also a reminder that Community is not what THEY can do YOU but what YOU can do for THEM. However, by serving and lifting one another up, you can draw closer to God and understand more and more what God intended true community to look like. In other words, this model of meeting one another, encouraging one another, building one another up, and pointing each other to Christ is Gods design for community.
“The Day drawing near…” the gospel is urgent, our faith is urgent, our community is urgent. We all need to remind ourselves that the day of Christ is coming and in the end, our faith is all we will have. Our community in Christ is created to help each other through times where we find ourselves lost, in confusion, or at a point where we simply find that following God is hard.
Personally, God has been teaching me these last few weeks what it looks like to be a part of a community. I've never felt as If I had a strong sense of community much less a faith-based community. I think to HAVE friends and community you have to learn to BE a friend and a part of community.
I feel beyond blessed for the community I have found here in San Diego, and I am blown away how quickly these people have become my best friends and family. I am in awe of how deeply those who are pointing you to Christ care for one another. Dang, you guys, God is so incredible in his timing and placement of us all together this summer. Each person I have met has been placed in my life for a reason and I in there’s. One of the main reasons I was interested in Elevate was to grow a community, and He has blessed me beyond what I could have ever imagined.
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