Newsletter - Chips Off The Rock

“And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.” Hebrews 10:24 

As we observe Thanksgiving and move into December and the Christmas season, we realize that we are in a time of celebratory gatherings. We do this in our families and likely in our workplaces as well.  

The writer of Hebrews encourages people in the early church to gather together also. Why is this important? In the church community, the author of Hebrews says that we are to meet together in order to “provoke one another to love and good deeds” and also so that we can be “encouraging (to) one another.”  

These things can also happen in family and work settings, but meeting together continues to be especially important for faith communities. We do this weekly through our worship services. I ended my sermon on gratitude in the worship service on November 19 by saying, “So this Thanksgiving, let us ‘gather’ to ‘glorify’ in the ‘goodness’ of God – and to be thankful for God’s ‘grace’.” Our weekly worship services are gatherings where we do these things. 

But there need to be other opportunities for church members to gather together in order to “provoke one another to love and good deeds” and also to “encourage one another.” We may not think of other church meetings in this way. But ideally, these things are happening whenever church members meet together, whether that is at Board or Commission meetings, through Women’s Fellowship gatherings, or through the new Men’s Group meetings. These things can also happen when we get together in smaller, more informal settings as well. 

On November 12 the youth of Rock Run gathered at Missy’s and my home to eat, share, and play games together. I trust we also were able to “provoke one another to love and good deeds” and to “encourage one another” as we gathered. Hopefully under Robbie and Marita’s leadership the youth will have numerous opportunities to gather together with each other, and perhaps with youth from other Church of the Brethren congregations, in the coming year.  

This verse from Hebrews 10 reminds us that it is best if we do not go through this journey of life alone.  It is important for us, if we are able, to gather together with others who seek to be faithful to Jesus Christ in their lives in order to “provoke” one another “to love and good deeds” and to “encourage” one another as well.  

In this season with many gatherings, I am thankful to be able to gather with other members of the Rock Run congregation on various occasions and in various settings so that we can continue to faithfully live out the calling that we have as disciples of Jesus Christ and as members of Christ’s church here at Rock Run Church of the Brethren. May our gatherings in this season of gatherings indeed be a blessing to us – and through us, be a blessing to those around us! 

Pastor John


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