This pastoral passage was written for LRBC for May 20 2018.
I really like that scene in the Pilgrim’s Progress where Christian arrives and stays at the House Beautiful. “The company sat at the table, and all their talk was about the Lord of the hill (Jesus)— of his goodness in building the house and in furnishing it with all things necessary to the happiness of those who visited it.” The scene talks of the rest and refreshment that Christian gained during his time at the house. His journey was long and difficult, and his time here helped him to continue. The House would, of course, be of no great value if it were not for the people that were in it, for the House represents a gathering of the Lord’s people – a church.
God did not make Christianity a solitary endeavour. Community is built into Christianity, much like smartphones are made to be hooked into the internet. God’s purpose for our fellowship is that we be refreshed in the faith and encouraged by being together. There are two questions I would like to raise in relation to this. First, how often are you encouraged by fellowship with other believers? Second, how often do you refresh others?
Mere attendance on a Sunday morning won’t foster this. You have to actually talk to people, and talk about more than work or sports or the weather. It’s important to converse on what makes the faith meaningful to you. Home groups are important for this too. Even if such conversations are unfamiliar, the fact that you’ve bothered to show up and be with other Christian journeyers shows them that they are important to you, and that what they have gathered for matters.
Will you make the effort to overcome inconvenience and apprehension so you can be refreshed and a refreshment to others?