Tag Archives: mutual encouragement

Striking a Chord

As I was preparing to write this post, the phrase “strike a chord” came to me.  Sometimes we can use an expression all the time, and not think about what it really means.  From my little bit of music theory training, I know a chord to be formed when several different notes (often 3, but not necessarily) are played together.  The notes that make up the chord each have a different sound, yet when played together they make another sound, different from the individual notes yet harmonizing with them.

Thus when a thought or idea “strikes a chord” in us, it is resonating with our own thoughts.  Just like the notes in a chord each have a different sound, so the words used to express the idea may be different than the words we have used to express the same idea, and yet there is a sense of familiarity that the idea somehow belongs with the ideas we ourselves have been pondering.

Extending this allegory a bit, sometimes we may also feel like we are the “discordant” note — challenging others ideas and opinions.  However, if done in the right spirit even this can form a sort of harmony.   The classic chord sounds that many are most familiar with are the common chords found in the major scale, but there are other scales: minor scales, jazz scales and blues scales to name a few.  In some of these scales, chord variations are formed when a somewhat discordant note is added to the chord.  It is when these discordant sounds are added that the listener sits up and takes notice.  In the same way, at times an opinion or idea may be offered that at first glance appears to be a completely different perspective from our own, but the more we listen the more we begin to see that the idea we at first thought very dissimilar to our own is actually also “striking a chord”.

Am I advocating moral relativism?  No, I do believe that truth is absolute, but our understanding of truth is limited, thus when we come together we all grow stronger as we share our differing perspectives.

With these thoughts in mind, my two recent posts on Hebrews 10:25 (“My Journey…” and “… Why We Gather“)  seem to have struck a chord with a few people out there.  Some of the responses (listed below), in turn struck a chord with me, expressing with different words ideas I too have been struggling to express.  For those of you who might want to read more thoughts on this subject, here are some other places to read:

  • A thought-provoking discussion sparked by the above-mentioned posts occurred here on the blog Chaordic Journey by Jeff Rhodes (the post itself is mainly just a quote of my blog, but the comments add many additional thoughts).
  • Also on Chaordic Journey, there were recently two follow up posts on the subject of Organic Church here and here.  I was particularly struck with Jeff’s description of organic church (read the full article):

“The point is that “organic” church is not about tradition or non-tradition, building or no building, big or small, emerging or whatever would be the opposite of that. It is about the life and vitality of Jesus breaking into our reality everyday. It is about God’s will and activity in heaven coming into our world through us and in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. I think maybe the best place in Scripture which captivates the idea of “organic” church is Hebrews 10:23-25.” [All I can say is AMEN!]


Hebrews 10:25 – Why We Gather…

Last post I talked about my journey towards a deeper understanding of Hebrews 10:25. I began by sharing what I realized this scripture did not say, specifically:

  • It didn’t say be sure to go to church every Sunday.
  • It didn’t say be sure that you gather in a specially designed building.
  • It didn’t say be sure you join an institution.
  • It didn’t say gather in one place around one primary leader.
  • It didn’t say make sure you hear a 1-hour sermon every week (or a 40-minute one, or a 30-minute one).
  • It didn’t even say how often to meet.

So what does it say? Well, let’s look at the context a bit. Hebrews 10:22-25 says:

22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

These verses imply a number of things about the purpose Christian community. Here are a few, I see:

  • To draw near to God
  • To experience forgiveness
  • To help each other hold fast and to not waver in our faith
  • To spur each other on to love and good deeds
  • To encourage each other

Furthermore, when reading the entirety of the book of Hebrews, one finds a major theme through out is that this world is a very difficult place, very much like a wilderness, which has a hardening tendency on our hearts (2:1, 3:7-8, 3:15, 4:7). It is in this context that we are exorted to:

The verse in 3:13 is especially interesting. I remember reading this verse once a few years back, and realized for the first time that it said to encourage each other “daily”. I looked up this word in my Greek lexicon, and found it meant (and I quote) “daily”. It hit me then that I wasn’t sure I had ever in my life encouraged someone or been encouraged by someone every single day.

So, a radical return to Hebrews 10:25-type gathering is what I would like to experience, in every increasing measure, in this life. Are you experiencing that? Let me hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment.