[b said:Quote[/b] ]Ecclesiastes 4:9, 11-12 (NRSV)
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. ... Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
[b said:Quote[/b] ]Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. - Hebrews 10:24-25 (NRSV)
LAST night I had a fire blazing in my fireplace. When I went upstairs, three logs glowed as they burned. Thirty minutes later I came back and saw that one of the logs had rolled off of the grate and was by itself. The other two logs were still together, and flames were dancing joyfully all over them. But the solitary log was providing no warmth or light.
That solitary log reminded me that being alone is not always good. Sometimes when we are struggling or going through a trial, we become despondent and give up going to church. But I have learned a lesson about this. At times in my life when I least felt like going to church because of discouragement, I forced myself to go anyway and found the services to be some of the best and most helpful in my life. Why? God uses other believers to warm us, to give us light, and to support us.
Bob La Forge (New Jersey, U.S.A.)
Keep us always longing for the presence of your people, O God, and draw us back when we are tempted to go it alone. Amen.