The author [of Hebrews] has just said: “let us pay worship to God”; he says now: “Let brotherly love remain” (13,1). Where is the relation? In reality, this very abrupt transition is certainly intended, not only to mark the literary division between the two paragraphs, but also to suggest a profound doctrine about the true way of understanding the worship to be paid to God. Do you want to pay God a worship acceptable to him? Love your brothers! Suggested here by the succession of the two themes, this unexpected connection is expressed very explicitly a little later: “Beneficence and solidarity, do not forget them, for those are the sacrifices that God accepts” (13,16). —A. Vanhoy, A Different Priest: The Epistle to the Hebrews, 403-404.
There’s more of the same to be read in the paragraph and book. Excellent material.
Ed M. wrote today in his devotional about worship: “To expect seasons of dryness is appropriate. To become comfortable with them is deadly!” He uses the book of Malachi with Mal 1.11 as the key verse. Another powerful thought to grapple with!
Focus question: Do I assemble with the saints for worship with an attitude of expectation and a mindset to discover truth and new motivations?
Obviously, no congregation will be made perfect, except by the blood of Jesus. Still, we have to face each other’s faults and our corporate faults each time we come together.
In her free book, Worship the First-Century Way, Katheryn Haddad seeks to revive congregations by dying to self.
Some churches are in denial about their faults and need. Humility is required to confess our faults and ask God for help in our need. The church of Jesus Christ receives the weak, forgives one another repeatedly, and loves all the saints, regardless of the progress of their journey. This is not a denial of following God’s pattern, but an embracing of it.