Hebrews 10:19-25

The great tree was dead. It had to come down.

For years, church members had stood under its branches, chatting after worship. Countless children had chased each other around its great trunk. We’d picnicked in its shade and sought its shelter in gentle rains. It seemed a shame to send such a precious gift to the landfill. 

As a team came with chainsaws, our people began to talk. How could we use this tree to spread God’s love?

“What if we cut the branches into little pieces, the right size for a fireplace or a wood stove?” someone said. “Our tree could keep people warm.” 

“What if we took the thickest parts of the tree—the chunks so big that you can’t stretch your arms all the way around them—and put them on the patios outside the children’s Sunday school rooms?” said someone else. “The biggest ones could be tables and the smaller ones, stools.” 

“What if we had the trunk cut into boards?” someone asked. “We could sand the leftover pieces for blocks for the children. We could save the smaller pieces for them to use in their artwork.”

“What if we took the boards and made crosses with them?” someone asked. “We could hang them in our church and in our homes, and everyone would remember the One who gave everything he had for people. And we’d think of our beautiful tree.”

And so we did. 

As today’s passage reminds us, when we gather together and allow the Spirit to move within us, confident in the faithfulness of God, we can spur each other on to great heights of love. 


How are you encouraging others to greater love?


Dear God, thank you for the gift of church. As we meet together, may your faithfulness make us brave enough to go all in, encouraging each other to love in big, creative ways. Amen.

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