and with all your soul,
and with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this,
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
– Jesus (Mark 12:30-31)
On Sunday, Karen Stevensen's message could have been used for Community Life as well as Evangelism. She talked about "belonging, that someone knows me, knows my name. God's kingdom comes near to me". When we "put in time creating a relationship, God's kingdom comes near to me."
I remember a Pastor Molly entering the narthex and saying to me, "It's intimidating to see all these groups of people who know and love each other." I replied that she had an in, everyone wants the pastor to know them. We all want to be known by others. Community Life tries to offer a variety of ways that we can all know others and become known.
From Our Daily Bread, December 2021 Series on Community
12/1 Key Verse: [Let us] not [give] up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but [encourage] one another. Hebrews 10:25
The numbers for regular church attendance are not what they used to be. Of course, the quick question is why? The answers are many and varied. Author Kathleen Norris counters those answers with a response she received from a pastor to the question, “Why do we go to church?” He said, “We go to church for other people. Because someone may need you there.”
Now by no means is that the only reason we go to church, but his response does resonate with the heartbeat of the writer to the Hebrews. He urged the believers to persevere in the faith, and to achieve that goal he stressed “not giving up meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25). Why? Because something vital would be missed in our absence: “encouraging one another” (v. 25). We need that mutual encouragement to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (v. 24). Brothers and sisters, keep meeting together, because someone may need you there. And the corresponding truth is that you may need them as well.
Reflect: What are the top four reasons you either go to church or don’t go? How does knowing “someone may need you there” make you feel about meeting together?
Pray: Heavenly Father, as I meet with others to worship and praise Your name, help me to also encourage others in Your name. Forgive me when I overlook the latter because I’m too preoccupied with myself.
Look for future blogs about…
October 9 – Switching it up, we will talk about Discipleship.
October 16 – Stewardship