LETTUCE

The writer of Hebrews serves up a good salad. Three times. Let us draw near, let us hold fast, let us consider how. He has just written brilliantly that Jesus tops the superstar Moses, that the new covenant far surpasses the old. Then it’s time for a meal. Therefore…

LET US DRAW NEAR

Why wouldn’t we? Because we know that we have failed. We have made promises we have not kept. We resolved in 2018 to read the Scriptures and kept putting it down for a novel. We have wanted to reach our neighbors, but we are cowards. How can we draw near?

One way: the blood has done its work. We can come “in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22). We can say, “Father” with courage, because “we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus” (19). Good news! Even though we have blown it often, we can still feel like winners instead of losers, victors instead of victims. Come on in!

LET US HOLD FAST

It’s one thing to hold on, another thing to keep holding on. Sometimes pressures wear us down. We feel like giving in. We have fought the battle of purity too long. And we hear the writer saying, “Hold fast.” How can we when things around us are collapsing? Everything that can move is. Stability is elusive. When things are going our way, we’re on the team. When multiple problems shake our foundation, we wonder if giving in might take some of the pressure off.

The writer lets us know that we can hold fast “without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (23). Good news! Sounds likes it’s more up to Him than up to us.We can hold on because we are being held. The knowledge of forgiveness, cleansing, right standing, an inheritance, and a sure future enable us to not lose our grip.

LET US CONSIDER HOW

Meanwhile, we are not here to collect toys. Better to endure than to enjoy. Who enjoys warfare? We are in a battle, not on a picnic. Like Jesus, we are here to serve the purposes of God, not to settle down and think this is all there is. This is a test, the prelude before the main event. We are living for what is not yet. We put all our marbles in the age to come. We live strategically. “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 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” (24,25).

Got it, I think.  We are here on mission, not maintenance. We are not trying to get by. We are influencing others. It’s not about ourselves. When we’re just trying to hold on, it is about us–our needs, our stability, our happiness. That’s not how the kingdom of God works. We die to ourselves and live for others. That means we show up for church with the goal of blessing others, not getting blessed! Please pass the salad!

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