Have You Missed Assembling?

We certainly have been in some unprecedented times. Honestly, it has been something that I hope we never experience again. For me, this pandemic has shown me things that I did not really think I took for granted. Just simply going to a store during this time has been a trying of my patience. I mean, it has always been before, but the COVID 19 has brought it to a whole new level. Fear and panic can really wreak havoc. Our jobs are another one. While I have been blessed to be able to continue working, things are different than what I was used to, but the show must go on and I am glad it does. One thing that has really affected me more than I thought it would, is not being able to assemble with the saints.

I have not been in an actual assembly in several weeks and I can feel a difference emotionally, mentally and most important spiritually. While I am glad that Chris and many preachers are doing their lessons on social media it is not the same and frankly, I miss being in the assembly with those of like previous faith. I want to be at the normal meeting place. I know the church is the people and not the building, but I need to be with saints, learning, studying and worshipping together. One reason that we go to church is to practice love toward the brethren in the form of fellowship. Nothing can express the joy and happiness to be shared among the saints than in the services of the church.

Someone told me recently that all church is is basically a social gathering. Really?? I beg to differ. Despite what the world says, we gather together to honor God and offer thanksgiving to Him for salvation and the blessings of life. The psalmist wrote, “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You” (Psa. 22:22). We gather to remember His death, burial and resurrection. We gather to exhort one another. We DO NOT assemble together to worship the preacher or the singing or ourselves. Our object of worship is the Creator. Our responsibility is to seek and to worship God because He seeks true worshippers (John 4:23). To worship God is why we meet. Knowing we are there to worship Him and focus on His commands, His sacrifice is what keeps us from straying from Him. But being able to do it with our brother and sisters in Christ is an added bonus.

The world around us is so tempting and distracting, that I appreciate more now what assembling can do for our souls as well. We experience more profound and genuine fellowship when we come to the worship gathering. We need other Christians to teach us, encourage us, pray for and with us. We need other Christians to provide us with godly counsel. All of which are so important for Christian growth. Being among other Christians is a gift God has given us. Have you ever thought about that?

I am afraid that this time away from assembling, will cause those who were already struggling to attend to not come back or not really appreciate what they have been missing. I have heard the saying, “One who neglects the assembly of the saints is like a leafy branch of a tree. If one carefully lays it aside, the color slowly fades until the leaves go limp, curl up and die”. I hope and pray for the opposite affect on those that do struggle. So how important is gathering to you? Have you truly missed it or have you enjoyed not assembling? I pray you have missed it!

I cannot wait to hear Chris say this in the pulpit with a building full of people, Psalm 122:1, says “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.”

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