I did the household gardening when I was in high school. Each year I planted a lettuce bed in late winter that also included green onions. Some people would put different kinds of leafy greens in their lettuce bed so they could experience the different flavors in their salad. Our Christian life is like that salad, having many different aspects all in the same bowl and Hebrews 10:19-25 is like some lettuce beds because it includes several statements that begin with ‘let us,’ meaning “we should.”
The first ‘let us’ describes the very basis of our Christian life – the fact that there is a faith, a group of facts of which we can be sure (Hebrews 11:1, 2). That faith is what causes us to draw near to God for his blessing and protection (Hebrews 11:6). Our first step in drawing near is having our bodies washed and our hearts sprinkled. It’s through New Testament baptism that everyone has the same opportunity to draw near to God and he draws near to us through the gift of the Holy Spirit (James 4:7, 8; Acts 2:38, 39; 10:34; 17:26-28; 22:16; Galatians 3:26-29; 4:6, 7; 1 Peter 3:21; Colossians 2:11, 12).
The second kind of ‘lettuce’ in Hebrews 10:19-25 says to let us maintain hope because God is faithful. He’s the author and finisher of our faith and will complete his work in us if we’ll continue to stay near him, looking forward to our hope (guarantee) of eternal life (Hebrews 12:2; 5:7-9; 1 Corinthians 1:4-9; 2 Timothy 2:11-13).
Sometimes different kinds of plants are grown just to make more desirable plants more productive. Leaf lettuce comes in different sizes and the more colorful or flavorful types might not make very large leaves without competition from larger-leafed types. While we’re not in competition as Christians, we’re all to run the race so as to win and at the same time, let us spur others on toward love and good deeds (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
Encouraging others to love and good deeds isn’t easy if we’re not getting together on a regular basis. That’s the last kind of ‘lettuce’ in the Hebrews 10:19-25 bed. Some would limit this to church attendance on some Sundays, but we’re to do it all the more as the days go by, probably because the days are becoming more evil and we need more encouragement (actually, it’s the people who are doing more evil – Hebrews 2:12-14; Ephesians 5:15; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 12, 13).
Have you approached God through baptism having had your body washed and heart sprinkled? Are you holding on to the confidence you in God had when you first approached him? Are you actually participating in a local body of Christ to give and receive encouragement in faith, hope, and love to cultivate your own Christian life and good works as well as in others?
If you’re not cultivating your relationships with other Christians, your relationship with God also will not be as productive or flavorful as it could be.
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at email@example.com