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102 church appreciation

The sermonic letter of Hebrews awakens our eyes to another world. It describes an event incapable of human construction. No sophisticated technology whether audio or visual, no array of purchasable products whether banners or café bars can create this event.

So what would we see? The event just appears to be a gathering of worshippers. The building where they assemble might be simple, nothing fancy nor high tech. The crowd could be diverse, but certainly not the center of social society. The sermon and singing might even be lack-luster, though genuine.

Take a second look, peer deeper, Hebrews tells us.  With his blood, not only did Jesus enter into God’s presence as a pioneer for Christians, but he also enables the Christian worshiper to come into God’s presence.

Furthermore, these worshipers are able to approach God as those whose hearts have been sprinkled by Christ’s blood, thus making them perfectly holy forever. They stand in God’s presence with consciences expunged of sin with its guilt.

And so, the exhortation has gone out to them to draw near to God, to encourage each other and to avoid forsaking this special assembly that Christ’s blood has made possible. So what would we see?

The Hebrews’ author perceived myriads of angels joining this gathering of those belonging to Christ and who’ve been made perfect by Christ’s blood. He saw an event where people have come to God, the Judge of all, yet there is no terror. For with their bodies having been washed with water, the sprinkled blood proclaims God’s promised relationship toward them.  You are forgiven.  You are mine.

What do we see? It would seem that if we measure worship by the tangible, if we think lowly about what may be small or unsophisticated or non-technological, we simply are not peering deeply enough.

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Barry Newton

Married to his wonderful wife Sofia and a former missionary in Brazil, Barry enjoys trying to express old truths in fresh ways. They are the parents of two young men.

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