During the fourteen years I’ve lived and served in East Africa, I’ve had a few opportunities to join others on safaris. Typically, we’ve encountered large herds of elephants, Cape buffalo, zebras, and gazelles.
Occasionally, however, we’ve come upon a cape buffalo off on its own, estranged from its herd. Our guides explained that these are the “loser” buffalos, the ones forced out because they’re no longer of use to the herd.
Such isolation causes these buffalo to become extremely dangerous. Without the protection of other buffalo, they consider anything approaching them to be a threat.
Detachment from others can also cause human beings to be more vulnerable to attack. That’s a primary reason why in Hebrews 10, Paul emphasizes the importance for believers in Jesus to be part of a local church and to remain connected with other believers. When guilt over sin tempts us to sheepishly stay away from other members of the body of Christ, we can take heart by remembering that “our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean.” Because Jesus, our Savior, reigns, let us “go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him” (Hebrews 10:22).
We are invited to enter into God’s presence and into consistent fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. And this passage reminds us to “think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Let’s remember that God is calling us to community. In response, may we turn from isolation to join with His other children in serving Him.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 4:5-22
Read Acts 2:42 and reflect on the practices of believers in the early church.
Why is it dangerous for you to move toward isolation and away from other believers? How does your faith community encourage you in Jesus?