I love this verse that reminds me why meeting together should have deeper meaning.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 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.
Christians in China helped me realize what this verse said.
They would parrot ‘don’t give up meeting together’ and in Chinese the connotation made it seem like Sunday church was the issue.
—let us…one another…one another
This is so mutual. Going to church to hear the sermons and singing the same songs can be great and also can get old.
I had a Christian psychiatrist friend explain to us 5 levels of relationship.
1st level is Hello.
2nd level is I have three kids and isn’t the weather great today.
3rd level has to do with what we believe.
4th level is deep openness.
5th level is total openness.
Let’s Reach Deeper More
Americans have an average of 0.5 level 5 friends. This means perhaps half of Americans have no level 5 friend. So sad.
Jesus prayed for us specifically in John 17:20-21:
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
How close are Jesus and the Father? Let’s say they have a level 5 relationship. He prayed that for us. He prayed once for us in the Bible and asked for us to go deep. How close are we to reaching Jesus goal in our faith community? You may also like From Abraham to Us.
Meeting Together Should Be Deeper
I think on earth we are not going to have 500 level 5 relationships. However, the 11 disciples probably did among the 11. God help us through God’s love to know ourselves and open our hearts to those near us.
The vast majority of us should first have a level 5 relationship with our spouse. Then a handful of level 4’s and many level 3’s would make sense. We can only get there with Jesus’ help, but he has already prayed this for us. I think we can do it. Relationships can only go deeper slowly and cannot be forced. We can reach farther but only with smaller fellowships and more one on one.
For many men especially this will be very uncomfortable, but we were made to be able to connect with others emotionally as well as in ministry. See also Do You Have a Mutual Church Congregation?