What Great Joy!

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

1 Corinthians 12:27

Have you ever truly desired the joy of seeing a family member or a friend without any alterior motive, only because you love them? I must confess. God has worked that love in my heart for members of our church. I thank God for the blessing of working His love in my heart for other people.

Let’s face it. If you’re a Christian and a member of body of believers that has not been gathering together because of COVID-19 mandates, it’s been rough for you. There is an empty void that has created a longing to be together with Christian brothers and sisters. Some of your churches have tried to provide live streaming as a substitute, but let’s be real, it’s not even close to the real thing.

If you agree with what I’m saying, praise God. Church was never meant to be live streamed. It was meant to be lived out in community with one another where we are encouraged by one another’s presence. The hugs we share, the voices that unite in singing, and the encouragement that comes from hearing one another’s prayers works to bind our hearts together. When absent from one another, we experience a loss that can almost feel like death.

The Apostle Paul described the church as a physical body. Like our human bodies, the church body has separate members that are joined together. We are joined together by the Spirit of God. When extended separations occur like what many have been facing, hearts begin to hurt. If you’re heart has been hurting, I empathize with you, but at the same time, I celebrate with you.

From the outset of quarantining requirements my prayer has been that God would use this time to cause churches to mourn over not being together and that God would give Christians a greater hunger to worship together, pray together, and fellowship together…in person. If you’re heart yearns to be with your local church body, praise God!.

My hope is that the desire you feel will not only spur you and others to not forsake gathering together, but would also ignite a desire to spend time in each other’s homes. Can you imagine your yearning to reunite not only be answered, but also be multiplied? The early church experienced that as “day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,  praising God and having favor with all the people” (Acts 2:46-47).

Our church has been blessed to continue to join together each Sunday in a home. However, we too have missed the presence of brothers and sisters that we faithfully pray for during this time. Can I encourage you to pray for the members of your church body? Would you be willing to invite them into your home to pray, worship, and fellowship together? The best remedy to heal the body is the joy of being together. What great joy!

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