Posted by: Philip Rushton | August 30, 2012

Creating Space For God This Fall

“ Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25

The subtle shift between seasons is starting to take place. You can smell it in the cool morning air. Fall is quickly approaching.

With fall comes a different pace of life for many of us. A number of activities that we put on hold for the summer start to pick up again. I think it is safe to say that life is a lot busier these days then it used to be. Between work, school, commuting, community activities, and sports, life often feels like it is lived in fast forward.

Many of these activities we engage in are meaningful and important things. That is why it gets hard to say “no.” Discernment is always trickier when you have to decide between good things! Nevertheless, I think it important for us to be intentional with what we decide to invest our time in. Many of us, myself included, simply get caught up in the hectic rhythm of our culture.

The recipients of the letter of Hebrews find themselves in a similar situation. It appears as though the cares of the world are starting to crowd out their spiritual journey. Church attendance is in decline (10:25), their prayer life has become almost non-existent, and they are consumed things like the real-estate market (10:32-24).

To counteract this subtle shift toward spiritual apathy, the author takes time to remind the people about Jesus. From chapter 4-11 he outlines a detailed exposition of the hope we have in Jesus. In Christ, he says, we have access to God and we encounter a grace that sets us free.

The author concludes his long sermon by posing an important question. If we really believe in the good news of Jesus, how is this going to impact our schedules? If Christ is who he says he is then we ought to pursue life with him above all else. That is why the author says, “let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess . . . and let us not give up meeting together.”

As we approach fall, I want to echo this challenge. If Jesus is who he says he is this ought to factor this into our rhythms this fall. Parker Palmer has famously said that Christians often live as functional atheists. While we profess faith in Jesus we often live as if Jesus is not really who we are living for.

The challenge that the writer of Hebrews gives us is not meant as a guilt trip. The ability to stick with the spiritual journey is not something we can manufacture through human effort. It is only sustained by a fresh realization that God loves us. That is why the author of Hebrews takes so much time to remind them about Jesus. My prayer is that we would recover the great hope we have in Jesus. As we encounter this good news may it inspire us make the pursuit of God the priority of our lives.

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Responses

  1. Your closed your article with “…may it inspire us to make the pursuit of God the priority of our lives.” Sorry Phil, but watching football is now the priority in my life.
    Well, at least many times I’m finding that’s true of my life. If not that, then its work or making money. The pursuit of God is just priority number 3 or 4.
    So, I need to look at my life and decide if, “Christ is who he says he is then I ought to pursue life with him above all else.”

    • I appreciate the honesty Stan! I think most of us, when we take an honest look at our lives, need to reconsider our priorities. It is easy for the things of this world to crowd out the pursuit of God. I think that is one of the reasons why the writer of Hebrews is so big on community – (let us not give up meeting together), because we need to encourage one another along the path.


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