I used to make that an essential part of my day. Over the last few weeks, other things have crept in: staying up later to go over the day's events with my husband or simply watch TV with him, staying up later to read in bed, heavier than expected volunteer responsibilities, participation in other Bible studies, more dedicated office work hours. These tasks fill the margins of my day, so that when the alarm goes off in the morning, I am squeezed. Tired. Spent.
And yet. I had a particularly bad day last Thursday. I didn't sleep much at all, but I woke up thinking, "Oh, Lord. I need some time with you. I need just me and your words." I opened my Bible to Hebrews, which I've been reading off and on since January. It hadn't been rocking my world, which may be part of the reason I let the times between each reading lengthen. Still, I'm nothing if not exact, so in my world I needed to finish Hebrews before I could move on to something else. I was there for a reason.
I read Hebrews 10. The author is writing to the early Christians, and the words came alive to me in a new way because of everything else I've been doing for the last few weeks. Because of the other books I've been reading, the experiences I've been having, The Bible miniseries that I watched so faithfully - I could visualize and understand the scene and the times: the early Christians who lived in such hard times, who were actually persecuted and had to risk their lives and their safety to believe in Jesus. They struggled with those who clung to "the law," and the old way of doing things. It was suddenly relevant.
I came to a part I had underlined before, and as has happened so many times, it was new again. The author gives five exhortations on how to live, based on the freedom we all have in Christ. The first two are personal, the last three are about community.
(1) Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith . . .Those words remind me how big and how broad is God's world. I take comfort in my relationship with him, and in Christian community. I take comfort in history and the long arc of time. I take comfort in God meeting me everywhere and through any medium, during life's shifting seasons. I take comfort in a morning quiet time discipline, how it can wait and how it delivers.
(2) Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
(3) Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
(4) Let us not give up meeting together . . .
(5) Let us encourage one another . . .
Michelle for Hear It/Use It
Emily for Imperfect Prose
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