“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25
This morning at church, as our family went up to receive the bread and the cup, our pastor took the time to talk about the meanings behind the different words we commonly use for the Lord's Table. One word he mentioned was “communion” and the word got me to thinking about the connection between how we celebrate communion on the sabbath in church and how in the process of doing so we commune with one another as believers. But the community which is created through having a common activity, like the Eucharist, with others is only a small portion of the communal type living the Lord speaks about in the bible.
As followers of the Lord, we are told to function as individual parts of a body (Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12) and from doing this when our personal differences and our needy qualities are exhibited at their height, we will show the world the love and grace of Christ Jesus by still being able to work through those things and bring about great and mighty works in the name of the Lord despite them.
I think it is interesting that Hebrews 10 says that we are not to hold fast to one another, but rather that we are to hold fast to the hope that we confess – that is in Christ Jesus alone. From that hope then, we are to look through the lens which Jesus provides and see one another in a more proper light – one in which it is easy to dispense the love the Lord wants us to distribute and the good works the Lord puts before us to keep on functioning in the communal way He has set before us.
This afternoon our family had an interesting opportunity – we were visited by a missionary family who was wondering if we would prayerfully consider allowing them staying in our apartment for a while. We went into this meeting very apprehensive due to how sour our last tenant relationship had gone, but still willing to hear the Lord and obey Him wherever He was wanting us to go. Truthfully, my attention on the past was quickly dismissed as I found my focus going towards the hope of the Lord instead of dwelling on the possible issues that would arise from such an agreement. We had a wonderful afternoon with this family sharing the many ways God has worked in our lives and in our hearts over the years. We definitely, if anything, gained some wonderful new relationships with brothers and sisters in the Lord, so much so it was difficult for all involved when it came time to go our separate ways.
As to what will come out of our meeting this afternoon, I am sure the Lord will lead us all in agreement when the final decision needs to be made. But, for now, we will just rejoice in the ability to have been able to share as part of our sabbath in communion with other believers. The unity we all shared was completely based on the fellowship we were able to find in Jesus and the hope we have common in Him. And, when our focus was Jesus then His hope was of course where our eyes were fixed (and our hearts too) as we parted in anticipation of what God may do with the sabbath communion we were able to share with one another.