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 10:24-25)This text is set in the larger context of the writer to the Hebrews' answer to the question: "What should we do as we wait for Jesus' return?" In the context of today's readings, I find this to be very good advice. As human beings, our natural tendency, when confronted with danger or stress, is towards fight (the attack, or more often one another) or flight (fleeing the situation, closing in on ourselves, etc...). This passage of scripture gives us a third option: faith.
The author of this letter (we don't know who that person is) lays out the faithful response of Christians to difficulties--provoke one another toward love and good deeds, meet together, encourage one another. In other words, point out how God is active in the world and how we can partner with God in that action, show up for church, small groups, etc... to support one another, and encourage one another through these difficult times.
Sounds like a plan!
On Sunday, November 29, we will have a Service of Lessons and Hymns and Holy Eucharist, Rite II. All are invited to come, sing, and be with us for the First Sunday of Advent.