Jump Start # 2630
Acts 2:44 “And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common”
Together has taken on special meaning for many of us. We’ve worshipped, but it’s been apart. We’ve watched videos, livestream and listened to podcasts. We’ve gotten the information. We’ve been encouraged by the hard work of faithful preachers. We’ve worked through Bible studies, classes and shared things on social media. Through all of us, our spirits and our souls have been fed, but what has been missing is the “together” part. And, that part, the “togetherness,” is essential to life.
Families don’t do well when they are apart. Everyone eating in their own rooms, watching their own shows, looks more like an apartment than a home. And, congregations do not do well when we are apart. We are starting to meet back together where I worship. It’s not the way it used to be, but it’s a step. I heard several saying “Watching the video and livestream is just not the same as being here.” And, it’s not. It will never be. It shouldn’t be. Technology as wonderful as it is cannot and should not ever replace our presence. There may be some who won’t come back. They’d rather stay at home in their ‘jamas and watch a sermon than getting down to the church building. Fellowship provides a benefit that is unlike listening to a sermon. We need sermons, but we also need smiles, waves, elbow bumps, hugs and eye contact.
Here’s what I like about “together”:
First, I like to see a building full of people. People of all ages, backgrounds and different parts of the journey. Little ones being carried by their mothers. It makes you wonder if someday that little one will be leading singing. Old ones who have so many stories, battle scars and such a deep, deep love for our Lord. They were blessed to sit at the feet of some of the finest preachers. Their Bibles, like their lives are worn out, but their love and desire is as strong as ever. Young and in love, sitting together, sharing the same Bible, whispering to one another once in a while. You look at them and wonder if they will someday get married. You wonder if they will have children. You wonder what great things that young couple may do for the Lord. Together, such a wonderful experience.
Second, I like to look and see all the shepherds of this flock. They are spread throughout the building. You see in their eyes that they are looking over the flock. They are probably wondering where some are. They are in little conversations here and there with different folks. It’s like being at home. Things just seem better when dad was there. It’s the same way with the shepherds. You feel safe, inside and out when they are around. You love their smiles. You know they care, it’s in their DNA.
Third, I like to see all the folks who are busy as little bees doing what they do to make worship as wonderful as it can be. Some are up in the media booth, pushing buttons, getting things all set up to record. Some are making sure all the lights are on and even picking up a piece of paper that was overlooked. Others are getting the Lord’s Supper all set. Some are at the doors, greeting and welcoming us as we come in. It’s a little army of people who arrive early on Sundays just to make sure everything is just right. They want to give God the best and this is one of the great ways that they serve.
Fourth, I like to see the thoughtful prayers of those who lead the worship of God. They put thought into what they are saying. They give it their all. Kind, reverent, praiseworthy are their thoughts to Heaven. It’s an honor to have them speak for all of us. So often, someone says something that I haven’t thought about. I’m glad they did that.
Fifth, I like to see Bibles. Nothing says more about standing with God than having an open Bible. Bibles opened and following. Bibles, on tablets, phones, and in print, all saying the same things. Open Bibles represent a standard that is believed. Open Bibles chase the devil out of the building. Open Bibles mean that we may not all see things eye to eye, but looking into our Bibles we will stand together and untied. Open Bibles is the first steps to a growing faith.
Finally, I like to see each other because it reminds me that I am not alone on this journey. There are others who love me, support me and will watch out for me, as I do for them. Together illustrates the family concept of the church. Together reinforces the help that we have in our battles each day. Together, in voice, in heart, in work, in worship and someday, in Heaven. When we get to Heaven, we will know people there. We will know the faithful of God that we spent a lifetime worshipping with. They will be there. Fond reunions that will not have to end because of time or places to go. Precious memories. Won’t it be wonderful there?
Together. Nothing beats it. Let’s not forget how important, together is.