Hebrews 10:24,25 (ESV)
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.
One of the overriding conclusions that we drew from the COVID-19 pandemic is that people do not do well in isolation. The results vary from irritability to suicide.
Neither Zoom calls nor drugs could satisfy the need for human touch, for “in-person” connection. Hands that touched opposite sides of a glass pane were no match for an embrace.
While our virus-induced isolation has been a directive for this time, isolation from fellow believers in normal times may be a symptom of something else. It is often the result of rejection, misunderstanding or discouragement.
When we struggle in our relationship with God, we feel compelled to fake how we are really doing, which pushes us further into spiritual isolation. Other believers are the last people we want to be around.
According to the author of these verses in the Letter to the Hebrews, we need the fellowship and we are needed in the fellowship. The Scriptures use the phrase “one another” often. It is a “give and receive” phrase, from loving to encouraging to serving one another.
The Christian life was never meant to be lived alone. We just don’t do well at it. You discover that when you arrive on a new college campus, join a new sports team or relocate to a new city. These are the times you need to meet the team chaplain or visit the on-campus ministries.
Churches love college students. Arrive early or hang around after services to meet the pastoral staff. Introduce yourself to families with kids. You will quickly discover a home away from home.
Take a deeper look – read Romans 12 and identify some “one-another” phrases you can put into practice. They have a way of breaking isolation.
Tom Petersburg | www.catapultministries.org