My devotional reading earlier this week was Hebrews 10:24-25 “and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” I’ve come to love this passage and it’s reminder that being together, face to face, talking and learning from the scripture, worshiping together is important.
The women’s class I attend is a fun group of ladies ranging in age from the 30s to the 80s. We spend a little time talking before class, and then during class many share life lessons related to the scripture we’ve read. It is a particularly enjoyable part of my Sunday; I love listening, encouraging and praying for the women in our class.
This time of separation has been hard on all of us. Our church just opened classes again, but many – including myself, have not begun attending the smaller group classes. I feel like our fellowship, our “meeting together” has suffered not just because we can’t be together, but because we can’t encourage one another through our sharing in classes.
The book of Nehemiah is largely about the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem. Chapter 4 was noted as a further learning opportunity in the devotional I mentioned, and as I read it, one word kept jumping off the pages. WE. We rebuilt. We prayed. We returned. We continued.
We. Not I. We. God intended for us to be a family and to support one another in everything. The Bible is full of scriptures that encourage togetherness and love as we walk through our Christian lives.
In Psalm 133 David wrote “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” (verse 1) In his letter to the Romans Paul wrote that he kept them in his prayers and prayed that God would make a way for him to come visit them. He said, “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong– that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” (1:11-12) Paul wanted to encourage them, and he needed their encouragement.
If there is only one thing I can take away from this pandemic, it is the reminder that life is not about me. Life is about being selfless. It’s about reaching out to others in their need, working together, helping each other, teaching each other, praying for each other – loving each other. We, not I.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2