I was reflecting about a women’s retreat that I attended a couple of weeks ago. I was thinking about all the different groupings we encountered throughout the course of the weekend:
- Large group for corporate worship and teaching
- Small groups
- Groupings of friends
- Meal time gatherings
- One on One Sharing
- Solo time with the Lord
And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities,
Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10: 24-25 (AMP)
I have often struggled with small groups. I tend to be a bit of a percolator and it takes me awhile to feel comfortable enough to express myself or even to formulate a comment. Lately I have found myself in many small group settings and as I was mentioning to a friend last week that with practice, it is getting easier. Just like the retreat I attended, there is a need for each of those types of meeting. We need time with God, time with friends, sharing intimately with a heartfelt friend, sharing a meal together and gathering with the larger body of Christ for worship.
I am finding that I am looking forward to the groups that we are attending each week. I have been feeling buoyed lately and I think it is from being in fellowship. I can be introverted and isolate myself. When I am with other believers, I find all of what the verses in Hebrews says to be true.
Who doesn’t want to be stir up to love and good deeds? Who doesn’t need a bit of encouragement or even godly warning throughout the week?
What a privilege to give my attention and continuous care to watching over others and they will do the same for me…wow.
I am realizing that I need to be all the more faithful about meeting with believers especially at this time that finds us drawing closer and closer to His return. We need each other because life is just simply difficult.
I read this today:
Reuben Gornitzke said, “We can’t simply cheer people on and give them our best wishes. We have to make room for them in our lives.” It is not enough to admit we need each other or to say, “Oh, a few friends would be nice.” We must get beneath the surface talk and become interested and accountable to each other.
Authenticity occurs when masks come off, conversations get deep, hearts get vulnerable, lives are shared, accountability and tenderness flows. It is when we make room for others in our lives that the walls of indifference and apathy come down. It is when we make room for others that we discover the best in them and the best in ourselves.
We need to take off our masks, admit our need for each other, cultivate relationships and strive for authenticity.**
You are needed in the body of Christ…we aren’t the same without you. Do you realize that? Drink in the truth of that fact…we need you!
Who do you need to come alongside this week?
Is there a group you have felt a nudge to join?
Is there someone that has reached out to you but you have been too busy to connect?
Is it time to share a cup of tea in Jesus’ name on a friendship that need cultivating or has been neglected?
The road is too long and winding to go it alone…find some new connections this week. Perhaps we might bump into one another…and that would be just grand.
**Rick Ezell from My Heart–Christ’s Home Through the Year