The Opportunity of Being Together
Another Lord’s Day has come and gone. We all had the awesome opportunity to worship our Lord in spirit and truth. We sang His praise, prayed to our Father, and heard a lesson from His word. Most of all, we had the sacred privilege of communing with our Lord and Savior just as He instituted and instructed that we should the night before He died for us. What a day. What a God. What a hope. What a Savior. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God” (1 Jn. 3:1)!
We were also extremely blessed by God, that even though we were forced to worship in small segregated groups in our homes due to the Coronavirus, that we were not having to do so for fear of being put to death for our faith by the authorities like so many of our early church brethren were, and as so many of our faithful brethren in some foreign and less religiously tolerant countries still are today.
Yet despite all of these incredible blessings from God, some of us undoubtedly still walked away from worship feeling a certain sense of emptiness or loneliness. We may have even felt guilty at first for feeling that way, because we know that we do not attend and participate in worship because of the people, but because of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that He is indeed, all that we need.
So why the sense of loneliness then? I believe the following is why… It is this same God, who in the beginning of creation said that it was “not good that man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). From the very beginning our God created us to be social creatures! Subsequently, when He later recreated us as New Testament Christians in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26-27; Eph. 2:4-10; Col. 2:13-14), He also created us to be socially active, interactive, together with, encouraged by, and dependent upon, one another, throughout our daily, earthly lives. He created us to constantly: be together (Acts 2:44-47), come together (Acts 20:7), and gather together (Acts 20:8); that we might be encouraged, refreshed, and raised up together (Ro. 1:12, 15:32, and Eph. 2:4-6). His ultimate plan, purpose, and design for us, as members of His one New Testament church, is that we are constantly “being joined together” (Eph. 2:21), “built together” (Eph. 2:22); and therefore “encouraged,” “nourished,” and “knit together” (Col. 2:2, 19; Eph. 4:16); that we would always “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27).
“Together,” “together,” “together” … We, as individual members of the body/church of Christ, must surely understand that just like the different parts of a human body, none of us was ever made or intended to have to stand alone, or to be segregated, separated, cut off, or set apart from one another (Ro. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 4:25). Instead, we were made to be and to function together as one; to thus serve, sing to, and teach and admonish one another (Gal. 5:13; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16); to greet, be hospitable to, and assemble together with one another in order to “exhort,” and “stir up one another to love and good works” (Ro. 16:16; 1 Ptr. 4:6; Hebs. 10:24-25).
So it is totally understandable, that even if we are able to meet in small groups and worship the Lord on His day as He instructed, that we still miss the Christian love, fellowship, refreshment and encouragement that only being together with our brethren whom we hope to be together forever in heaven with, brings. God made us that way from the very beginning. In fact, if you feel no sense of loss at all, then that might possibly be the sign of a more serious problem…
According to the news, our governor and his staff are currently making plans to re-open the state. One report I heard near the end of last week said that he hopes to have Oklahoma restaurants and churches opened back up for business by mid-May if not earlier. Let us continually pray that that happens my beloved brethren – the sooner the better, and all over this nation! Can’t wait to see, study, worship, serve, and fellowship with my brethren in Christ, in person, together once again, soon and very soon. Can you?