“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:19-25
I am a big fan of salads. Especially salads with honey French dressing, shredded cheese, croutons, grilled chicken, cucumbers, etc. I’m an iceberg lettuce kind of gal, in spite of the nutritional value of the greener leafy veggies. Lettuce and other vegetables are an essential element to keep our bodies healthy with adequate nutrients and vitamins. I realize I ruin the nutritional value of my salads with that honey French dressing, but at least it has honey in it, right?
These verses prompt us to do a whole bunch with lettuce. LETTUCE draw near to God. LETTUCE hold unswervingly to the hope we profess. LETTUCE consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. LETTUCE not give up meeting together. LETTUCE encourage one another. Like I said, lettuce is a really, really important vegetable.
There are occasions in my walk with Christ and with the church during which I feel particularly encouraged, and there are other moments where I find myself feeling alone and deserted. Usually it has a lot more to do with where I’ve positioned myself than where God is or where the people of God are. These verses emphasize what WE should do as a community of believers—draw near to God, hold unswervingly (that’s without changing course) to the hope we profess, consider how we can urge one another on toward love and good deeds, meet together, encourage one another. There aren’t any “you’s” or “me’s” in these verses – it is a collective agreement between me and all y’all: US.
There are a lot of other elements to salads, all of which keep things tasty and interesting. Just like our walk with Christ, there are a lot of things we can add in to keep it fresh and fun—conferences, concerts, Christian music, blogs, books, etc.—but without the sustaining power of community and relationship with other believers to encourage us in our walk, all we’d have is a pile of cheese, croutons, cucumbers, and dressing. The kind of community that is demonstrated in these verses is an intimate, vulnerable, challenging, loving community. It is essential. We need lettuce.
Oh, look at that… lunch time!