Connected to Other Believers

448 days. This is how long it has been since we last held a normal Sunday worship service with the congregation meeting together inside the same room without any protocols for the pandemic. 14 months and 22 days. It seems much longer. Sunday will be a day of hope and gladness as it will be the last time we’ll have to meet wearing masks and seeing blue tape everywhere. Won’t it be great??!!?? I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to be here June 6 to sing for the first time in this building with no masks and be gathered together inside the same room. It’s going to be so encouraging and uplifting!

And while there are definitely things about the pandemic that haven’t been joyful, ... when we look around we see the blessing of God everywhere! He got us through! Some churches have not fared so well during all of this. They are now dealing with division and strife and loss of membership. Instead, we have grown spiritually and numerically ... and we have grown in unity. For all of this, God gets the glory! We need to praise Him for it.

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of the pandemic has been the fact that we have been separated so much. The many weeks where we were unable to meet together along with the cancellations when groups of people came down with COVID, were stressful. And while it was good to be able to worship via livestream, that setting was never intended to be a permanent replacement to coming together with the Cornerstone family in person every week. There really is no viable substitute to the personal connection we have with Jesus and one another when we are physically together. In fact, God has designed your spiritual life to be very connected to other believers.

Check these passages out:
  • Romans 12.5: we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
  • 1 Corinthians 12.20: there are many parts, yet one body.
  • Ephesians 4.16: From whom the whole body, fitted and knitted together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building itself up in love by the proper working of each individual part.

God did not recreate you to have you go through life alone. He not only gave you His Son, He gave you His people. It is being with them not watching them, where this vital connection for growth is made. For many, our livestream has served as a spiritual lifeline during a very difficult and unusual time. For that we should be thankful. Now as it appears we are exiting this moment of difficulty, it is time for all of us to assemble together again, in person so that we may be built up and edified the way God intended. No, the livestream will not be going away (it serves an important role in reaching the lost, those shut in, and others). But no livestream will ever replace the value of interpersonal relationships where each can consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, Hebrews 10.24. Remember, if you want Jesus, you get the church, because that is where He is ... dwelling among His people. You can’t have one without the other. If you want to grow your connection with Jesus, your connection with the church will naturally follow.

Matthew Allen

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