And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25not 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 —
This morning I preached a message called “The Blessing of Assembling Together” on Hebrews 10:24–25. Here are further reflections on the discipline and privilege of gathering together with God’s people.
Stressing the spiritual importance of gathering together, early church father Ignatius observes:
“When ye frequently, and in numbers meet together, the powers of Satan are overthrown, and his mischief is neutralized by your likemindedness in the faith.” (Ignatius)
Speaking about the value of “gathering together,” Chrysostom writes:
For as “iron sharpeneth iron” (Prov. 17:17), so also association increases love. For if a stone rubbed against a stone sends forth fire, how much more soul mingled with soul! But not unto emulation (he says) but “unto the sharpening of love.” (John Chrysostom).
We can’t produce love in others, but Chrysostom reminds us that we can lead others to love such that they walk in its course:
For as on the highway, if any man find the beginning, he is guided by it, and has no need of one to take him by the hand; so is it also in regard to Love: only lay hold on the beginning, and at once thou art guided and directed by it. (John Chrysostom) Continue reading