When I was a kid, lettuce was lettuce. My Mom can correct me, but as far as I can remember she only used Iceberg lettuce in our salads. When anybody said "lettuce," that's what I understood them to mean - Iceberg.
Then I got older, and started shopping for myself and wandering down the produce aisle. Hey! What is this Romaine stuff? It's what? Lettuce? There's more than one lettuce? Wow! Arugula, Radicchio, Boston, Mesclun, Mizuna ... Leave it to the Lord to be generous even in the lettuce department.
Today's text is pretty generous, too, in the "Let Us" department. Five times in four verses, the author rallies us to action in light of having an amazing Savior. Jesus has made a way for us into the eternal presence of our God. With such a certain path to future glory, we should be sure to act in the present, thus ...
LET US - draw near to God with a sincere heart.
LET US - hold unswervingly to the hope we profess
LET US - spur one another on to love & good deeds
LET US - not give up meeting together
LET US - encourage one another
Sometimes working and dealing with others within the body of Christ can become frustrating and discouraging. We are a tossed salad of sorts - so much diversity; so many differences to blend. Unfortunately, the challenge of serving with folks who are not like us can lead to conflict and controversy, and leave a bad taste in our mouth. The author of Hebrews addresses five issues that appear to be related to discouragement. When we get wounded in the church, the temptation is to withdraw and not to reconcile. Once discouraged, we drift -- away from God, away from hope, away from love and good deeds, away from fellowship, away from positive words.
The mixture of Jews and Gentiles in the early church presented many possibilities for misunderstanding and conflict. The persecution from without the church added another layer of oppression and cause for losing heart. But a fresh spin of their attention off of their crises and onto their Christ could pump new life into the crest-fallen congregation.
We have an accessible God! We have an unshakable hope! We have love and goodness to spare! We have the strength of Spiritual unity! We have truth to speak to trials! We have all of this because we have Jesus Christ. LET US rejoice! And Let Us ...
Pray: Jesus, how generous You are, to have spilled your blood and atoned for our sins once and for all! Help me to keep my eyes on you, my Savior, and not on my circumstances. Yes, I will always have some kind of obstacle, conflict or crisis to deal with, but I don't ever have to doubt You or your Word. Help me to persevere and do your will and receive what You have promised.