“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.” Acts 2:1
Today as on the day of Pentecost, God descends on us when we gather together in one place in his name -- even a virtual place. Whether there are just two or three or many more when we unite as a community of faith, a few things happen. In our songs and hymns, we lift our voices to God in praise and thanksgiving. We share our joys as a testimony of God’s many to us. In raising our concerns, we share with the body those things heavy on our hearts that we trust to those folks who love and care for us. In our communal prayers, we acknowledge the holiness and awesomeness of God, confessing our sins, admitting our shortcomings, and asking for forgiveness. In listening to the scripture, we hear God’s divine word given to authors throughout the ages. The cohesive story of His plan from the creation in Genesis to the new heaven and new earth in Revelations. In hearing the word of God expound in sermons, we receive an interpretation of the scripture applied to our lives here and now. In the benediction, we go forth in renewal to serve Christ and glorify God.
By no means does this, replace or minimize the need for good individual spiritual practices. We need to read and reflect on scripture in His word we find peace and comfort. In our daily conversations with God, we experience His love, compassion, and guidance. In these spiritual practices, we grow in strength individually and become stronger as a whole. “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. (1 Corinthians 12:12,14)”
God, we give you thanks for that special joy we experience when we come together in your name. We offer you all our honor and praise. We ask you Lord to bless us that we might be the universal church you desire. Let our lights individually and collectively shine brightly to those around us and let every action we take, every word we speak, glorify you. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.