Week after week, I look around our sanctuary, and I don’t see people that I love. Some of them are going to miss a week here or there because of work or other commitments. Others, I have no idea why they are not there. Often when I see them, I encourage them to come back. I don’t know how to convey what I mean.
I am afraid that you will misunderstand. I don’t want to be judgmental. I don’t want to be “holier than thou.” I don’t want to be nosy. I don’t want to cause guilt.
How can I express this? I need you.
I need to know that I am not alone. I need to know that I belong to a good community. I need to know that I am loved. I need to know that others love Jesus too. Our community has not separated ourselves from the One we all need.
And I want to encourage you, too. How can we encourage you when your family fights? How can we encourage you when you are sick? How can we encourage you when the pain of life is too much? I want to believe that you need me, too.
Other Christ-followers give me confidence, hope, and love. I love when I know that I am being prayed for. I hope you are experiencing that weekly. I know that you can have Christian community without the formality. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, holy places can be anywhere. In my experience, I love when the church is that holy place; because we are more intentional and focused on what God wants from us — relationships.
Help us to be intentional about finding holy places where we acknowledge you. Help us to focus on loving others. Help us to be intentional in encouraging others. Sometimes, we get discouraged by business or others’ sin. Help us to forgive and love like you do. Help us do your good works. Help us to understand Hebrews 10:19-25:
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 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.