NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2015

The lectionary Epistle text assigned for this Sunday is instructing us concerning “worshipping together” in a context that goes beyond what we commonly think of as worship. When most of us think of worshipping together we think of meeting together for praise and worship inside a church. Now let me just say here that I especially love the reminder the text offers about making this particular point in saying “Let us not neglect to meet together” … in other words, come to church … Come To Church …. COME TO CHURCH! And on a regular basis!

However, as I studied this assigned text this week from Hebrew 10, I had an epiphany as something else also jumped out at me. It was the part that said, “… let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds.” It dawned on me this statement just might mean “worshipping together” goes beyond what we do in church on Sundays and Wednesdays; singing, praying, praising, giving awe and reverence to God. After all, loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and might only fulfills the criteria of the first of the two greatest commandments per Jesus. There is the matter of the second of the greatest commandments … “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Coming to church, gathering to worship is fulfillment of the first. The text for this week of “motivating one another to acts of love and good works” fulfills the second. Having made my plea to “come to church”, I must also say that fulfillment of the two greatest commandments according to Jesus do not always take place in a church worship service. Sometimes we have to go outside the church walls to fulfill these commandments. Fulfilling these commandments might come in being a part of a Pride parade and celebration; participating in joint UCC activities in Birmingham, food drives for Greater Birmingham Ministries, providing bags of food for the hungry and needy in our neighborhood in Center Point and so many other ways we at Covenant try to “motivate one another to acts of love and good work.”

Whether our worship activities are expressed in our loving God with all our hearts mind, soul, and might or loving others as ourselves; the main point of this passage is of “not neglecting to meet together…” is DON’T FORGET TO WORSHIP!

Let’s fulfill the letter of the command by gathering together to worship God this Sunday at Covenant. Let’s fulfill the spirit of this command by gathering after worship for a picnic at Railroad Park, downtown. Join us for both events. Bring a picnic lunch for you and yours and let’s have fun together. It’s part of worship!

The “short” sermon this week is called “Don’t Forget To Worship!” It is based on the assigned text for this week, “Hebrews 10:23-25.”

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