“meeting together”

Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)

I have often heard this verse used as a proof text for not skipping Sunday church. Thankfully, not from my parents, but from others. In the last year or so, I have begun to understand this passage differently, however.

Here’s what I think it means: “Stay connected to each other.”

For the last year, or so, we have experienced the “living out” of Christian community that we read so much about in the New Testament. Random calls just to “hang out.” Spontaneous (and planned) prayer times. Mountain biking. Long walks. Acts of service. Praise times. Lots and lots of meals.

Doesn’t our traditional exegesis of this passage as referring to not forsaking what Willow Creek calls “the all-important hour” cheapen it a little? I mean, what if we took this to mean staying connected to each other the other hundreds of hours of the week. Interpreting this verse as referring just to Sunday church is putting an emphasis on a once-a-week assembly that I don’t read about in Scripture.

I’m not saying that, on some level, this verse is not referring to a worship assembly. But could we please broaden even that thinking out to a more holistic life of worship? Do we have to define our faith by times and dates? Should a Sunday morning assembly be the connecting point for Christians throughout the week, or should we be in each other’s lives, worshipping, more frequently? I like Ryan Bolger’s thoughts on this topic here — powerful and convicting stuff.

Stay connected.

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