by Kathy Howard KathyHHoward
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV
Last week, Hurricane Laura blew through my home state of Louisiana and my adopted state of Texas. As I write this, our son and daughter-in-law, who live in north Louisiana, are coming onto on a week without power. My husband just got home today from an exhausting week of cleanup. First, he spent a couple of days with our son helping there. Then he spent a few days at our fishing camp on the Texas-Louisiana border where we lost a tree.
Dozens of trees grow on that property, mostly pine, but a few hardwoods. Unfortunately, Laura’s winds toppled a large, beautiful red oak. Unlike most of the other trees there, the oak was unsheltered, sitting alone in an open space. It was just no match for a hurricane. Thankfully, it narrowly missed our small fishing cabin.
That lone oak got me thinking about the giant redwoods of California. These giant trees of the western United States are some of the largest trees known to man. Amazingly, they have relatively shallow root systems. Their enormous weight is supported, in part, by the interlocking of its roots with those around it. A single redwood is vulnerable in extreme weather, but with the support of the surrounding trees, it can withstand a great deal.
Christians need interlocking roots like the giant redwoods. God never intends for Christians to be like the lone oak, attempting to follow Jesus on our own. When God saves us, He saves into His family. God’s design is for each Christian to be a vital, active part of a local church.
Ironically, during all the storms of 2020, when we’ve needed each other the most, we’ve been forced into isolation. Don’t get me wrong. I’m so grateful for technology and the ability we have to do virtual church and meet in virtual groups. But it can never and should never replace real life, face-to-face church. This is why the author of Hebrews reminded his readers of the importance of coming together as a local church body:
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV).
With everything going on, it’s tempting to settle for virtual church for the long-term. But let us not settle. The consequences of neglecting the real-life body of believers far outweigh the ease of doing church at home.* We need support, encouragement, accountability, and fellowship. We need face-to-face human interaction. We need to serve and be served.
Oh yes, the Day is closer than ever before. Let’s come together in love. Let’s be the church.
* This assumes your church is open and following safety guidelines, and your health is not compromised.
About the Author: A former “cultural Christian,” Bible teacher and speaker Kathy Howard now lives an unshakable faith for life and encourages women to stand firm on our rock-solid God. The author of eight books, Kathy has a Masters in Christian Education. She and her retired husband live outside the Dallas/Ft Worth area with their miscellaneous assortment of dogs. Find free discipleship resources on her website, www.kathyhoward.org and connect with Kathy on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Kathy’s latest book, “30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents” combines Scripture, biblical insight, personal experience, reflection questions, and prayer prompts to provide spiritual and practical encouragement to those caring for aging or ill parents.
Join the conversation: How has Covid 19 and its isolation affected you this past summer?