If you’re like me, you may have a tendency to avoid committed community because relationships are messy. They take time, energy, effort, and patience, and there is always the possibility they might fail despite our genuine attempts. But even in the midst of the non-guarantees, we all need a space to give out just as much (if not more) than we need a space to take in, especially in our ultra-consumerist and individualist culture.
With that in mind, let’s read Hebrews 10:19-25.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, 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 and with the full assurance that faith brings, 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, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
I love this passage because it tells us Jesus is greater than anyone or anything this world has ever known. Because of this, we, like the Hebrews, can have unwavering confidence in our right standing before God. All the more, the hope and promises of the gospel can be fully trusted as we remain faithful, and a key outflow of this confidence in Christ is a commitment to relationship with others who follow Him.
These committed relationships, what I will call circles (or small groups, or Lifegroups), spur us on toward love and good deeds. Circles also encourage us, and they prove to be particularly helpful in the midst of life’s hardships.
In other words, real relationships with others (circles) are crucial to our witness and perseverance as Christians.
So might there be a circle (in other words, a Lifegroup at River Valley Church) that God is inviting you to be part of this season? Or could it simply be more time with your family? Or maybe your neighbors?
All in all, circles give us space to dialogue, to be transparent, to be cared for, and to be on mission together. So as we embark into the summer season ahead, I pray it is a time of tremendous growth for you. I pray it is the first of many seasons where you find a place within a circle of other Christ followers. And in that, you find community, grow in faith, and make a difference.
If you’re interested in finding a circle here at River Valley, visit our Lifegroups page to learn more!