Growing up I was raised to not only enjoy watching football, but to play football. I started playing tackle football in 4th grade and had to play with 5th and 6th graders. As I grew older, I continued to play. I scored my only touchdown in sixth grade. In my freshmen year my friend and I broke the quarterbacks jaw during a game as we sacked him for a loss. As a sophomore I had an interception that I almost ran back for a touchdown. In my junior year I had a game where I had several sacks, caused several fumbles, and knocked down a pass.  Then my senior year I was moved to the offensive line and our team was not very good. In fact, we did not win a game. I remember at our homecoming game we had a chance to win the game, but our running back fumbled the ball as we were driving to score. As I walked off the field, I will never forget one of the cheerleaders asking me, “Hey Bruce, what’s the score?” After giving a smart aleck remark like “Look at the scoreboard,” it was then I lost all use for cheerleaders. Yes, I was bitter and maybe I still am. The question I wondered was, “how can you be encouraging us if you don’t even know what’s going on out on the field?”

I think this is a question for the church today. The writer of Hebrews wrote this in chapter 10 and verse 24, And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” In other words, the writer does not just say we should encourage one another, but he says that we should consider. We really need to put some thought into how we should cheer one another on in this thing we call the Christian life. Let me let you in on a little secret. You cannot encourage or cheer for anyone if you are not there for them. That is why the writer goes on to say in the next verse,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.”

I recognize that with this Covid thing going on there is still some concern, but the question we really need to ask is, “will we get used to just sitting at home on Sunday and watching church on a computer?” That, my friends, is not church. That is getting some sort of spiritual fix. One of the greatest purposes of the church is the ability to meet together to stir one another up so we know that we are not alone in this crazy world. To look at each other and say, “I am with you and you are not alone.” “Pick up the ball and march it down the field.” “When you are tired, I will be there.” Sadly, for many today the church is just a place we go because it serves our purpose, it makes us feel good. We like the music, we like the preaching, and we dare not let anything make us uncomfortable or we will just go somewhere else. Let me say again, that is not church.

Question: How can we say we love people and choose not to associate with one another? The encourager cannot encourage if we do not know what is going on. Let us resolve to consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. Let’s be the church.