For most of us, the coronavirus has changed how we do life. Maybe you’re working from home. We keep physical distance from people – no handshakes, no hugs. Wearing masks means we don’t see each other smile. You’re not going out as much to restaurants or malls. You’re not meeting with people like you’re used to. The precautions of this season are necessary, but there are relational costs.
The writer to the Hebrews said, ‘let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another’ (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Christian community is vital. We need it more than we realise. We’re built to be in relationship with one another. We need one another to be spurred along to love and good deeds – to live the lives that God wants us to live. It’s hard to do this when we’re isolated.
So, how can we do Christian community in our current season?
Notice, the Hebrews were told to ‘consider’. That means to stop and think. Often encouraging others in our faith means being intentional and creative. Ask yourself, “What are the needs of the people around me? Joe, in my Growth Group is pretty stressed. He thinks he may lose his job. How can I be a support to him? I could give him a call. I could pray with him. We could get together for lunch.”
I have heard about so many great examples of people at St Andrew’s wanting to meet together. There’s a hunger for connection, despite the difficulties that we’re going through. Our Growth Groups continue to meet online, many with their highest attendance rates. Some groups have people calling in from overseas in different time zones. People are reaching out to one another, meeting for coffee and meals, sending encouraging messages, and meeting practical needs.
We need one another more than we realise. Let’s consider how we can spur one another onwards.