Being Together

At the very beginning of humanity, God declared that it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). It is important for us to have companionship and help that we cannot receive from any beast of the earth or bird of the air. This was one of the first things that Adam learned from God. In the world of today, we are more connected with other people than ever before. We have so many ways to communicate and so much information available to us that we have forgotten what it is like to not know. If you want to know something you Google it and the answer will appear before your eyes. If you want to see how someone is doing, you Facebook them, or Instagram, or read their tweets. We are able to discover every trifling trivial piece of information with the greatest of ease. Yet the problem with this is that it is very rarely important information and does little to actually connect us with each other. In general, people do not get into deep conversations on the internet. We don’t always get into deep conversations on the phone, or while texting. Even more telling is that through all this we are even losing some of the art of conversation. We sometimes lose the ability to talk to those around us because we are so used to interacting with others through our electronic devices.

It is not uncommon to walk into a room and see every person on some kind of electronic device. In fact, this is becoming so prevalent that I recently saw someone post the question, “so anyone going to stare at their phone someplace interesting this vacation?”

In spite of being more connected than ever before, we also are becoming more isolated than ever before. We need to make meaningful connections with the people around us that truly matter. The most important people in this world for us to make a connection to in this world are our fellow Christians. These fellow Christians are the ones with whom we will spend eternity with. And it will not be an eternity living in isolation!

As Christians we need to work hard at meeting together, living with each other, and helping each other.

The writer of Hebrews tells to not stop meeting together (Hebrews 10:25), though some people do the easy thing and stop meeting with their fellow Christians. We should take the example of the very first believers and try to meet together as frequently as possible (Acts 2:42-47). To them it was important enough to get together that they did it every day in the temple courts! How much more would we enjoy life and how much more would we be in touch with God’s will if we were able to get together that frequently?

Unfortunately life tends to get in the way of getting together. Even Paul recognized that life could be a problem when he mentioned the fact that married men must be concerned about pleasing their wives and married women must be concerned about pleasing their husbands (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). This is just one example of something that brings concerns other than God into our lives. There is also work, feeding our family, having a roof over our head, and the list goes on and on. We must be careful here to not be like the seed that fell among the thorns that was choked out by worldly concerns (Matthew 13:22).

One of the best ways to avoid this problem is to associate ourselves with our fellow believers. If we place ourselves close enough together, then there is no place for the thorns to grow. We are able to help each other through the difficulties that this life has to offer. And by meeting together we can be certain that we are in the presence of Jesus, for where two or three are gathered in his name, there he is with them (Matthew 18:20).

When we come together it should be with the right attitude. Some people come to church wondering what they will get out of church today. That is the wrong attitude to have. We ought, instead, to think about what we are going to do to help others when we get together with them. The writer of Hebrews tells us to “spur one another on to love and good deeds,” and to “encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:24-25). We should always strive to do the best we can when it comes to building up the church (1 Corinthians 14:12).

The more we work on building each other up, the more we will be able to get along with each other and learn to live with each other. We must be wary of things that come along to divide us. There will be things that define us and our roles (1 Corinthians 11:18-19), but we should not let these things separate us or cause us to quarrel with each other (1 Corinthians 1:10-11). We should be of one mind and spirit with each other, for are we not the body of Christ? We have one head and that is Jesus Christ himself (Ephesians 5:23).

We need to do the best we can to treat each other as though they were a part of ourselves. To do what we can to build each other up and to live in harmony with each other. Our God is not a God of disorder, but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). Therefore, we too should be people of peace. That way we will be like our Father in heaven. To this end, we must bear with one another and help each other to become stronger. Those who are strong need to bear with those who are weak (Romans 15:1). We need to be available to be able to bear each other’s burdens.

Think of how different the scene in the Philippian jail might have been if Paul had been alone with no Silas to sing with him (Acts 16:25). The strength of the group is more than the strength of a collection of individuals. Solomon reminds us of that as he talks about one person alone, if he falls there is no one to help him up, but a cord of three strands is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). There are many examples in the Scriptures of people who stood together for God. We need to be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and stand firm in our faith together. As individuals we are weak, but walking together in the light we are strong and the gates of Hades will not stand against us (Matthew 16:18).