Not meeting together
Senior minister Mat Yeo writes about our current situation and how we can use it as an opportunity for a spiritual reset.
When I was a teenager attending a CMS camp, a missionary preacher challenged us with these words: “Why are you Christian? How do you stay strong? What if it was all taken from you? Your possessions, your friends, your family, your Bibles? What if you were only one of five people who met for church on a Sunday? What if you had nowhere to meet on Sundays?”
He was reflecting on the country where he served, which is now closed to missionaries. And he painted a realistic picture of what life is like for so many believers around the world today. But I had no idea how prophetic some of his words would become!
We have had very little taken away from us. But what we have had taken away is enormously painful—the ability to gather together. Not because of persecution but because of ‘plague’. (I had to get the two ‘p’s in there!)
We are only three weeks into not meeting together and I’m sure you, like me, are feeling it. Feeling the sadness of not seeing each other, of not encouraging and being encouraged, of not physically hearing God’s word together and so much more. I hope for all of us that it’s a chance for a bit of a reset of our own spiritual DNA; when we can gather again, we will value meeting together far more than we used to.
I also think it’s a chance to reset our spiritual DNA in other ways. Find that pattern at home for a time of quiet prayer, opening God’s word, some Christian music while you’re working, family devotions… You could even give fasting a go! (I don’t have a strong opinion on fasting either way, by the way.)
Let’s make the most of this isolation for growing a godly character.
The missionary preacher at the camp finished by exhorting us with the words of Jesus from John 17:20-23.
“… I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Even when we are not meeting, we are one – the one body of Christ. Let’s keep living that way.