Hebrews 10:24-25 – 24 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.
Why gather? Why gather when some find it risky? Why gather when some would prefer we not? What if I do not feel like gathering or do not feel like I’m getting anything out of gathering?
By this time, I think every Christian will have heard someone speak to the verses highlighted above. In a season where gathering together has been avoided by some and clung to by others, this passage certainly should be on our minds. And what I want to mention in a quick brush of these verses is that your call to gather with other believers is not solely about you. It surely is about you, but not about you alone.
After setting for the church how great is the New Covenant in Christ, the author of Hebrews gives three significant commands to us regarding maintaining our faith and confidence. He tells us to draw near (22), to hold fast (23), and to encourage one another while not neglecting meeting together (24-25). These are all significant elements in clinging to our faith and resting in the grace of Christ in the face of a world that would turn us away from God and toward works-based faiths of one type or another.
When I read this, I am reminded of the deep significance of meeting together with believers. It is an essential element in our faith just as is drawing near and holding fast the faith. If a Christian wishes to maintain stability, he must continue to gather. But we ought not see this as merely personal—I draw near for my good. Certainly, it is true that my drawing near does me good. But we should also see that our continuing to assemble is part of how each of us invests in the lives of others. Continuing to gather together is how we spur one another toward love and good deeds. Seeing one another, smiling at one another, weeping with one another, singing with one another, sitting under the word with one another, praying with one another, rejoicing with one another, receiving Lord’s Supper with one another, all these are essential tools in our strengthening and being strengthened. Your attendance or mine is both for my soul and for the souls of the church as well as an act of obedient worship of our God.
May the Lord strengthen his church as we draw near to him, hold fast the faith, and continue to gather for his glory and our spiritual good.