Paying Greater Attention

Drifting is a nautical term that describes a boat being drawn off course by a current. While piloting a ship, the skipper must take care to compensate for the effects of current by adjusting his course and speed in order to arrive safely at the rendezvous point and avoid being dashed against the rocks along the way. Drifting is often used as a metaphor to describe other areas of our lives such as our relationships with other humans. Our dearest friendships from our youth often degrade when we spend less time together as we go to college or get married and move away. Marriages typically don’t suddenly blow up with no previous warning signs. Relationships usually end not due to things that were done, but due to things not done. Like a current in the ocean that silently moves a ship off course and onto the rocks, our most intimate relationships come to an end after months or even years of neglect. The author of Hebrews, who likely wrote this letter 10 to 30 years after Jesus’ ascension, saw disturbing evidence that the church had begun to drift away from their Lord and wrote a letter cautioning the members to, “pay greater attention” to the things that they had previously seen, heard and experienced so that they might hold fast to their faith. I’ve seen in my own life and in the lives of my Christian brothers and sisters how the cares and desires of this world, tragic events or even becoming weary in waiting for the Lord’s return cause us to slowly, imperceptibly drift away from our Lord. Let’s join our patriarchal ancestors in looking by faith past this world to the heavenly land that our magnificent Lord has prepared for us.

Scripture: Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:1-4; 3:1-6; 4:1-11,16; 5:11-14; 6:4-8,12; 7:11-28; 9:15-23,26; 10:1-18,22,25-34; 12:1-4, 15-17, 25-29; 13:3, 10-19

“Paying Greater Attention” preached by Elder Steve Ebsen on January 15th, 2022 at the Mount Vernon Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mount Vernon, Washington