When 16-year-old Hayden Schaumburg broke his neck during a high school football game, his family was devastated. Such an accident would be terrible news at any time, but it was particularly bad timing for the Schaumburg family: their farm was ready to be harvested, and they had to focus on caring for their son. In response, their community showed up. More than one hundred people arrived bringing lunch, sixteen combines, and thirty trucks. In less than ten hours, they harvested 125,000 bushels of corn.
Community is important. We are designed by God to live in relationship with one another. In today’s passage, we read about the hope we have in Christ that allows us to draw near to God in faith (vv. 19–22). This faith provides a new template for how we will live. We do not live as those who have no hope. Instead, we hold “unswervingly” to the faith we profess (v. 23). Because of this, we are called to live in community. Here the author urges us to spur one another on toward love and good deeds (v. 24). Love is translated into action. And this does not just refer to our own action, but also the actions we encourage in others.
We should motivate others toward acts of charity. We are called to meet together (v. 25). Some interpret this as attending weekly worship services, but it actually goes much further, urging us to be part of each other’s lives in deep and meaningful ways. In our individualistic society, we often retreat into our private homes and separate lives. Here, we are urged to intentionally seek out community with the body of Christ.
The need for community will only increase as we see “the Day approaching” (v. 25). The imminent return of Christ should motivate us to live not as individuals but together.