Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10: 19-25)
Jesus, as we’ve read over and over the past few days traveling through the book of Hebrews, you have opened the way for us to enter the very presence of God. You have given us confidence that we are welcome in God’s presence and that we will be received by him. You have offered us forgiveness and we have received it gratefully.
And now, through the author of the book of Hebrews, you have called for a response from us. You have given us some instructions for our participation with God. Because we CAN enter the holy places by your blood, since we have been given access in you, you have asked us to respond.
First, you ask us to use the access provided and draw near to you. It doesn’t do much good to be given a pass if we never use it, for a door to be opened if we don’t walk through it. And it doesn’t do much good to be given access to the Father if we don’t draw near. Let me remember to draw near, Father. Call to me, Holy Spirit. Let me never become content with living life on my own, with just a belief in you but no daily connectedness. Remind me to stop my busyness, to quiet my heart, and to come into your presence.
Second, you encourage us to hold fast the confession of our hope and to not waver. You remind us that you are faithful to your promises. And because you are faithful, I can be also. Holy Spirit of God, let me not waver in my faith. Help me to hold tightly to the hope given me to me in Jesus.
And third, you call us to live our faith in community. You call us to spur one another on in faith and to not grow slack in gathering with other believers. In fact, you say we should be gathering more often rather than less often as time passes. Don’t allow me to be deceived into thinking that my faith is a private, internal, individualistic matter. Help me, Lord, to stay connected to your Body. Let me be mindful of ways I can encourage my brothers and sisters in love and good works. And allow me to receive their encouragement and correction as well. Let us stick together when it’s uncomfortable, urging one another on in faith. Bind us together in love and commitment to one another and to you.
God, I want to live in the fullness of all you have given me in Christ. With this desire in mind, I ask you again to continually call me to come near to you. I ask you to help me focus daily on your faithfulness, that I too will be faithful. Keep my eyes focused on you. And, Lord, bind my heart to your people, the Body of Christ. Let me be committed to living life in community under your lordship.
Allow me, God, to live in the fullness of all you have given me in Christ.