Don’t you just love a good campfire? The sound of the wood crackling. The amazing smell (as long as it doesn’t get in your hair) and the peace that comes with quietly sitting and gazing into the flames.
Over the past three years I have traveled across the country with my family. During that time we have watched as words like “relationships,” “community,” and “gathering” have changed. While much of the country has been shut down, if I’m being honest, not much has changed in our lives. We were already homeschooling our three boys and working from home, but we were also already in the habit of working to create community around us.
And that’s part of the reason we love a good campfire. There is something about circling up your chairs that opens people up and helps them to drop their guards. We’ve seen it time after time. The fire gives people a little mental barrier, like that wall of fire is helping keep them safe. And because they aren’t gazing at a screen their mind is free to wander. So it does. The warm glow almost always leads to conversations that go deeper than the weather. It allows everyone that sits inside its influence to begin to dig into their wants and desires, their hurts and hangups.
You probably remember the command we are given in Hebrews 10:25:
“…not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near…”
But do you remember the verse before it?
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,”
The gathering is a precursor to the love and good works. The two are tied together.
So today, let me encourage you to press in to your community. Let me encourage you to set up some chairs, gather some wood, stack up some rocks around them, invite some friends (or people you would like to become your friends) and light a fire in a real and a figurative sense. Be intentional about how you can build community where you are, and by so doing, how you can encourage others toward love and good deeds.