The Assembling of Ourselves

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

(Hebrews 10:23-25)

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves.

That’s an interesting instruction. The author of Hebrews could have just said, “Make sure you keep meeting together!”

But he didn’t. He put special emphasis on not forsaking the weekly meeting God instituted for us.

If the instruction was just to be there, that’s easy enough to do. Being there doesn’t at all take into account how we feel about being there. It doesn’t consider whether we’d rather be somewhere else—or even anywhere else.

“Be there” is concerned strictly with our attendance.

Is your butt in the seat? Terrific. Requirement fulfilled. You did it.

But forsaking something—that’s a process that starts internally. Jesus showed us how murder and adultery begin in the heart, long before the literal act (Matthew 5:21-30). Forsaking happens the same way.

When does a person forsake something?

When he doesn’t value it anymore. When it ceases to be worth the trouble in his eyes.

You and I, we can have our butts in the seats out of a sense of obligation, all while we’re internally beginning to disengage with that obligation.

Because it’s hard. Because we’re tired. Because we aren’t getting what we want out of it. There are any number of reasons—but that’s where the forsaking starts.

Internally, where no one else can see. Just us and our reasons.

I think part of the reason we’re instructed specifically to not forsake the assembling of ourselves is because it requires us to examine not just where our butt is, but where our heart is, too.

We can be there and still not be there. We can get so wrapped up in the obligation of it that we stop seeing the joy and blessing of being with our brethren.

To truly not forsake the assembling of ourselves, we have to go one step further. We have to treasure the assembling of ourselves. The weekly command to disengage from the world and assemble with our brethren must become precious to us.

Given the right opportunity and absent the right consequences, we will forsake obligations. We will forsake the things we find hard, tired, and unfulfilling.

But we don’t forsake the things we treasure.

No matter the challenges, no matter the adversity, we cling to those things. We aren’t willing to part with them, no matter how difficult things get.

Do you treasure the assembling of ourselves?

Is it something precious, something you’d be devastated to lose?

Or is it something you do because you must—something you’d stop doing if you could?

That’s where forsaking starts.

And the solution isn’t just forcing ourselves to feel different—it’s finding a way to make it different. If something is missing from your Sabbath gatherings, how can you supply it? Through service, through intentional conversation, through collaboration and planning—what can you do to make that time more valuable? More precious? Easier to treasure?

The assembling of ourselves requires more than hauling our butts to a seat every week. We must also haul our hearts, our minds, our love for God’s plan and for His people, our desire to make things better, our desire to serve each other in lowliness of mind.

When we all bring these things with us every week—when we consider one another to stir up love and good works, when we made it a point to exhort and encourage one another—the end result will be something none of us will want to forsake.

Until next time,

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