Let Us Draw Together
by Elaine Pierce
Verses 22-25 in today's passage repeat themselves with the phrase "Let us" at the start of each verse:
"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart;
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess;
Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds;
Let us not give up meeting together."
I'm sure you noticed that these "let us" statements are plural, not singular. We don't practice the Christian life on our own. For better or worse, we are joined together as brothers and sisters in Christ. And like our biological families, sometimes our spiritual families experience conflict. It seems to me that if we work on the first two "let us" statements, then the next two will help us achieve the "brotherly love" that we all want and need.
So, first, we worship together. We are celebrating Christian baptism today, and as we gather the family together, what a great opportunity we have to draw near to God. Second, we will remind ourselves of the hope we profess when we hear the word, when we pray together, and when we sing. We worship together, not apart. And what can happen as a result of these first two "Let us" statements? We encourage one another toward love and good deeds, and we continue to meet together.
If you have not joined a small group, I encourage you to do that today. Small groups are where true support and care take place. Our church is large, and it is wonderful to worship together, but small groups are where you will be known, loved, encouraged and challenged.
Is there someone who needs your encouragement? Have you been spurred on by others? Take some time today to reflect on your faith journey, and thank those who have helped you. We serve a mighty God, and he has commanded us to share the journey with others.
Lord, thank you for Upper Arlington Lutheran Church. As we celebrate baptisms today, help us to give all the thanks and praise to you as we welcome these fellow travelers in the faith. Help us to spur one another on to love and good deeds. In your strong name we pray, Amen.