As Director of Communications at epikos, I’m very aware of how important repetition is in everything we communicate. Announcements must be repeated for several weeks and through different channels (bulletins, platform announcements, videos, pre-service slides, website, app, social media, and e-mail) to ensure that our messages are heard and remembered.
So when I read scripture, I have a keen awareness of repetition. And as we’ve been studying Hebrews, I’ve noticed a certain phrase repeated over and over. In fact, in the passage from two weeks ago (Hebrews 10:19-23) and in this week’s passage (Hebrews 10:24-25) this phrase occurs three times.
I’m talking about the phrase “Let us.” I remembered having read it in several earlier passages, too. So out of curiosity, I searched the phrase and was struck by the results. The phrase “let us” appears 14 times in 12 verses in Hebrews! That’s more than in any other book in the New Testament.
So what does that level of repetition suggest? What message is the author of Hebrews trying to express by using “let us” over and over and over?
First, the writer was urging his readers (as well as himself) to action. He wanted his readers to do certain things. But notice the pronoun “us.” This suggests the author wanted his readers to do these things together as an interdependent, supportive body of believers. Perhaps the writer knew these commands might be a challenge to accomplish as individuals. But as a community, we will have greater success. Take a look from earlier verses…
- have a healthy fear of God (4:1)
- strive to enter God’s rest (4:11)
- hold fast to the confession of faith (4:14)
- draw near the throne of grace (4:16)
- become mature in understanding of the faith (6:1)
- lay aside sin and endure in struggles (12:1)
- offer sacrifice of praise to God (13:15)
In this week’s passage (Hebrews 10:24-25), there is another “let us” message. This one is to stir up one another to love and good works as well as to encourage one another. It’s interesting to note that another imperative is included, but this one is in the negative – let us “not neglect to meet together.” Phrasing the “let us” imperative in the negative implies that neglecting to meet together was exactly what the Church was tempted to do! And not meeting together made it impossible to offer face-to-face encouragement, to personally stir up one another, or to do good works together. It all comes back to being in a community of believers, the “us.”
Need ideas to stir up one another to love and good works? Encourage one another? Meet together? Try these:
- If you’re not attending worship regularly, commit to being there. Music, worship, prayer, and scripture will stir the Holy Spirit within you to love God and your fellow epikos believers.
- If you’re not in a small group, join one! You’ll grow closer to God as you grow closer to other people. Check out groups.epikos.org
- If you’re already in a small group, encourage each other during the week. Email, text, or call to let your group know you’re thinking about them and praying for them. You’ll be amazed at the impact this makes.
- Stir up good works? Simple. Serve at epikos (Hero Central, Connections Team, Tech Team, etc.). Or rally your small group and serve as a team. You’ll see God working through you in ways you didn’t know were possible.
In the spirit of the passage, we’d love to hear from you! After all, you are “us.”
How have you stirred up one another to love and good works? How have you been meeting together and encouraging one another?