Why Church? - Part 3 - Encouraged
Why church, that's the question that I'm asking over this next few weeks. This is part three of five. Why church after all this time when we've been worshiping in different ways, online, on zoom, sometimes meeting in-person, sometimes worshiping from the sofa, sometimes maybe in our pyjamas, or never even coming at all because who would notice. Why church as we step out of lockdown, what is important? Why should we do and be this thing together?
I've given you two reasons already. The first week was because together we are family and that invitation to reconnect and to step in. Last week I talked about us being the body that we are together the body we're not separate and an invitation to reinvest and to step down. Sounds a bit odd, but to step down and to serve to be a blessing to our children and our young people, because they need us right now they need us as an older generation to invest. And you might do that through prayer, or you might do it through leading a team, but we'd love to connect with you for that.
And so today, what are we going to talk about? We're going to look at Hebrews 10:24-25. It goes like this. "And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another all the more as you see the day approaching" Hebrews 10:24-25.
I hope we know that verse it's a great one to hang on to. Our culture is all about separation/ isolation. I'm still in isolation as I record this because I'm doing them all at once. Isolation, we've seen lots of it, but actually there is something endemic in our culture about us being islands, about being separate from one another.
The purpose of meeting together is so that we encourage one another. Why church? Because together we are encouraged. Apart we are less encouraged or even discouraged. So not isolation, but together and encouraged. There's lots of fear at the moment isn't there and alone. We are afraid, but together we can encourage one another and strengthen one another and even comfort one another with the things that are tough.
Our culture is also for self, for pleasing one self. But you know, when we try and take that approach to the Christian faith what happens is that we burn cold, the fires of our faith go out. We're not designed to be separate. To follow Jesus is a communal activity and together we can encourage one another to burn brightly, to fan the flames of our faith.
As it says in Hebrews we're to spur one another on to love and good deeds. How does this happen? It says in the passage that we're to meet together, we shouldn't give up on meeting together, whether it's in person, whether it's online, whether it's from home, watching this on a DVD, whether it's local in your home and self organized, all those things are good, but we should meet because then we can encourage one another.
Why church? Because together we are encouraged, there is some rebuilding to do. There has been ground that has been lost. And to do that, what we need to do is to make that choice to be in the room together, even if it's a virtual room, but to be in the room together so that we can rebuild and step up to the things that God has got for us to do. To spur one another on to love and do good deeds and meeting together so that we're encouraged.
Why church, because together we are encouraged. Amen.