Tuesday, April 4, 2017

EmmDev 2017-04-05 [Lent2017] Lent Worship Lifestyle 4/5 (Fellowship)

Lent Worship Lifestyle 4/5 (Fellowship)

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
The Christians who first read the letter to the Hebrews suffered greatly for their faith. They expected that Jesus would return very very soon, and the extent of their suffering certainly heightened their expectation. Because they believed that 'the end was nigh' they narrowed their focus to the things that were really really important. It is therefore very significant that getting together with other Christians was considered to be one of these important issues.The purpose of getting together was encouragement.

When we were in Grahamstown, I visited a lady who was going through a very rough time. She had this to say: "There are times that I am so low when I come to church, that the hymns, the sermon, and the prayers all mean nothing to me. What keeps me going is to look around at the other 200 people who have come: The young, old, healthy or frail who have taken the trouble to get up on an ice-cold morning to sit on a hard pew, sing ancient old hymns and listen to words from a 2000 year old book. Then I know that it is real and I am encouraged!"

But the encouragement does not only come from everyone's presence: It is the kind word over tea, the thoughtful enquiry to one's well-being, the timely offer of assistance, the hearing of the preached Word, and so many other possibilities.

Fellowship is not confined to Church on Sundays. Ideally we should all be part of a midweek fellowship group that gives us the faith top-up we need. Someone once said: "Coming to church is like coming to the big gathering of the extended family with all the aunts, uncles, babies, grandparents, and all the rest - It's good and it's fun. But coming to a fellowship group is like coming home to one's immediate family."

Skipping church is a bad habit - it is easier to get into the habit of not going than it is to get into the habit of going regularly. Giving Sunday morning worship a miss is something we should do with great hesitance and only with very good reason. And when we go, we should not only go to be encouraged or ministered to. Maybe there is someone you can say a kind or thoughtful word to. We're to go to "spur each other on" not only to be spurred on.

Fellowship is the vital fourth watering can of a life of worship.

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