“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
This Covid 19 pandemic has been disastrous for many believers. People of faith have broken the healthy habit of regular meeting together whether it be in the small group of large group gathering. To NOT meet has been a habit now for many as the book of Hebrews warned us about.
As I write this on my chair with my laptop, I am looking on our wall at a painted metal depiction of a school of fish. This reminds me of the many species of animals in God’s creation that protect themselves from those who would want to eat them by staying together in groups. Sheep are safer when they group together in a flock. Most birds also protect themselves in flocks… And we as followers of Christ are best protected from our spiritual predator (satan) when we are committed to stay in our “flock,” our community of fellow believers.
Colleen and I, with our move to Florida amidst of the pandemic, have had a challenge finding our way to genuine Christian community. The good thing that has happened for us is our “disconnect” time has been a renewed awareness and appreciation as to the value of connection with fellow Christ-followers. “Before I was afflicted I went astray but now I keep your word.” (Psalm 119:67) I have learned afresh that this is not a “have to” but rather “a GET to and a MUST do!” Just as community is crucial for the physical protection various species of animals-land, air and sea-it is so important for our spiritual protection. We become as vulnerable as a lone bird, sheep or fish would be to the invisible enemy of our souls. These are a few things I have noticed that happen when we stop “meeting together as some are in the habit of doing.”
The word of God, presented by pastor-teachers and others becomes crowded out by the onslaught of information, entertainment and distraction that comes at us. To realize how true this is, we don’t have to look any further than that rectangular device in our pockets and purses that we tend to compulsively check on throughout the day!
We miss out on the spiritual covering and protection provided by praying leaders.
Prayers for others when detached from an ongoing, caring relationship become shallow and devoid of feeling or passion.
We miss the spontaneous encouragement and sharpening that occurs when people of like mind and heart gather together.
Accountability disappears. We can easily stray into what the book of Judges describes, when “everyone did what was right in their own eyes.”
Please forgive us for taking Christian community for granted and letting our spiritual guard down through forgetting the vital importance of meeting with our Christian brothers and sisters. Thank You for using this pandemic to awaken me and many others of faith to the absolute necessity to stay in community. Thank you for reminding us of this especially as we can see that your return drawing very near! In Your Wonderful Name,
Amen Written by Jamie Bohnett. Contact the Author: email@example.com