We Need Each Other
…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…
– Hebrews 10:24-25
Family life is messy. It is rarely simple, rarely convenient, and never effortless. If your family is like mine, it can be difficult to make it a day, or even an hour, without some sort of meltdown, being emotionally and physically exhausted, angry or hurt because something didn’t go your way, and a list of many other things.
Life is a difficult affair, especially life with others. However, a family also has community. A place where one’s strength can support another’s weakness. Where a kind word can come in when we find ourselves fading. Where one parent can step in when the other’s reserve of patience has run dry. There can be rejoicing together and weeping together. There is prayer for one another. The sharing of a scripture or one of God’s promises with each other.
In a healthy family, each person both has their needs met and meets the needs of others.
I believe these things can also be said of the local church. We are meant to be family, adopted as sons and daughters of God (Ephesians 1:5). We are meant to share life with each other. As part of a local church, we are in mutual need of each other, and this is one of the reasons we do not neglect gathering and meeting together.
Every gathering of God’s people has something to offer you and you have something to offer it. So, when you neglect to gather, not only will you miss something that is uniquely there for you, but others will miss something uniquely from you.
Now, before people jump ship from this idea by thinking, “I don’t sing on stage, teach a class, preach a sermon, etc.,” those are not the things I’m talking about. I’m not talking about the order of worship on the bulletin. It goes beyond that to something I believe to be deeper and more personal in the corporate body of the local church.
Sometimes we find what we need in hearing a comment shared by another during a small group discussion. Sometimes from a hug in the hall or the “how are you doing” at the coffee pot that gets you to open up and share a struggle or trial. It may be in a testimony shared by a friend that reminds you that hope is not lost. Sometimes it is watching a child sing during worship to encourage you that God is still working in your family. Sometimes it is the encouragement of having a friend say that they have been praying for you and asks for an update on your situation. Maybe it is the one who stays behind after Sunday School to listen to you vent about life, then patiently gives you a scripture of encouragement. The list of things you can receive from others is endless!
Now, on the other side of the equation, what you give to others, is the exact same list. All that you would hope to receive, is what you are there to also give. But if you read the things above and come away saying, “I don’t receive any of that at church,” then I would ask where are you giving those things to others? I can say for myself, I felt looked over and forgotten in church for a long time. However, I was also blinded by focusing on myself and my own needs, that I was the one overlooking and forgetting everyone around me. It was not until I actively started trying to invest in others, while trusting God to meet all my needs, that I found myself truly connecting with those around me! I was in the rut of just sitting around expecting people to come to me and meet my needs, rather than me looking for ways to meet theirs. I started stretching myself and getting out of my comfort zone and found that God was enough for me, and I found community.
I believe God created us to lean on each other, to bear one another burdens, as we lean on him for everything because God is faithful!
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. – Hebrews 10:23-25
So, will you be at the next gathering? There is something for you, and there is someone in need of you.
Sunday Reflections are short articles that share thoughts from weekly Bible reading, devotions, sermons, or times of worship. You can find more of them here.