Week 3: Following Jesus on the Path of Peace

Today our practical step in following Jesus is Communal Worship.

We all have different personalities and strengths when it comes to worship. I find it easier to connect with God at home than during a weekend service. But I know it is important to meet with other believers and I want to hear our pastor’s message. As I read the book of Luke, I saw Jesus going to the synagogue often. It wasn’t always easy for him—in fact his hometown congregation tried to kill him!

Let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.(Hebrews 10:24-25 Amplified)

Those two verses in Hebrews are probably the most quoted Scriptures when we talk about the importance of meeting for worship with other believers. I personally find that the activity of “encouraging each other to love and good deeds” happens most often in the interactions of small-group Bible studies as we discuss the word as well as our everyday lives and choices. The small group helps me put the truths of the weekend messages as well as my own study into practice.

I studied the book of Psalms a few years ago. I used several study guides which pointed out to me the psalms that are written with plural words (not obvious in our English translations) that show the psalms’ purpose as community prayer. This reminded me to be more committed to worshiping with others at church.

I was amazed at the comfort and peace I found in the worship services last fall. Our community was shocked by a mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. Our pastors and staff spent many hours counseling hurting people. As we met the following weeks to express our sorrow as well as our faith, I found peace in the songs and the messages as well as the togetherness of communal worship.

What do you love about meeting with other Christians to worship?

What makes worship services challenging for you?

Make a list of your church leaders and how you can pray for them this week. Pray that their personal devotions will be meaningful and uninterrupted. Pray for them as they meet to rehearse or plan. Include pastors, small-group leaders, musicians, childcare providers, and youth leaders.

Peace be with you

Think about everything we read today: the chapters in Luke, the fact of Jesus’ incarnation, and the spiritual discipline of Communal Worship. What specific truth or action from this material gives you peace?

Example: Seeing Jesus’ victory during his temptation gives me peace and confidence that he will uphold me when I am tempted.

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