ODJ: lawn libraries

February 21, 2013 

READ: Hebrews 10:19-25 

Let us not neglect our meeting together (v.25).

Nancy Johnson went for a walk and discovered a little library in a neighbour’s garden. It’s estimated that there are now between 300 to 400 small libraries lodged in people’s lawns around the world. Each has a take a book/leave a book policy. Nancy commented, “What a nifty idea . . . I like the sense of community.”
Many of us are looking for a way to connect with people who share our interests. As Christians, we have the opportunity to rub elbows with like-minded people at church. The Bible challenges us: “Let us not neglect our meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25), so that we can encourage each other. Phone calls, text messages, and email will all get the job done when it comes to a quick pep talk—but there’s nothing quite like a face to face (and heart to heart) conversation when we’re lonely, grieving or feeling misunderstood.

Even if we’re not going through a difficult time, studying the Bible together allows us to build a common understanding of God’s Word. It helps us come to conclusions based in sound theology. The ancient Israelite priests saw the importance of this during a time when the Book of the Law of Moses had been neglected. “They read from [God’s Word] and clearly explained the meaning . . . helping the people to understand each passage” (Nehemiah 8:8).
Many churches explain the Bible’s text through preaching after a time of group praise and singing. Worshipping God with other believers reminds us of our common purpose—to glorify God (v.6). It creates a sense of unity, which honours God (John 17:23).
Mingling with fellow followers of Christ is a great reason to attend weekly services. But even better is the fact that we can connect with Jesus too. He promised, “Where two or three gather together as My followers, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Read Acts 2:42-47 for a snapshot of the early church. Read Ephesians 4:1-6 for some of Paul’s teaching on unity within the church.
What kinds of heart issues might prevent a person from attending church? Do any of these apply to you? What’s your happiest memory associated with a church service?