In Thomas G. Long’s commentary on the Book of Hebrews (Hebrews, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997) he writes some of the most amazing words on corporate worship, inspired by 10:25, that I have ever read. Let me quote a couple paragraphs:

…we just get tired, tired in worship and tired of worship. It is not only that the sermon may ramble on for a tad too long or that the pace of the service can sometimes lag; the weariness of worship is a deeper fatigue, a jaded sense that nothing of real significance happens here. The local video store has better drama; television has more interesting stories; the pool club has friendlier people; the park has a nice view; the Sunday paper has more intrigue, and sleeping in provides a more profound Sabbath rest. What is more, nobody at the beach or backyard barbecue is going to hand us a pledge card, call us to pray for people in a country whose name we cannot pronounce, or ask us to teach the junior high youth.

The only thing about that, says the Preacher*, is that while we are in the beach chair filling out the crossword puzzle, the faithful in the sanctuary doing the best they can with their off-key voices to belt out, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” have been gathered by a mystery beyond their own seeing and knowing into the great choir of angels in festal garb and the saints singing ceaseless praised to God (12:22-23). Things are not what they seem. What looks like leisure turns out in the end to be exhausting, and what appears to be the labor of prayer leads to “a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at last.” (p.108)

* The Preacher is a reference to the author of the Book of Hebrews.