Grounds for Gathering

Typically clubs and associations are formed around a common interest. Whether that interest is NASCAR, American Football, knitting, homeschooling, classical education, cigars, foods, computers or bicycles we gather with others because of what is shared there. According to Merriam-Webster, “an association of persons for some common object usually jointly supported and meeting periodically”.

As time goes on, relationships are formed and the initial purpose of the gathering can almost take a secondary position. We like to visit with our friends. The original purpose of our assembly may still be met, however the association is deeper than that. As this happens, even if that original common interest is lost, we continue the relationships formed because of other interests, cultivated or discovered.

Believers in Christ gather weekly throughout the world. Joys are shared, needs are met, trials are lifted up in prayer. We seek to put off sin and put on the righteousness of Jesus and we need help from one another to do that. This accountability is invited and very important.

Perhaps over time, we begin to forget what unites us with other believers. [Common view of economics, politics, education or nutrition can sadly get a top priority.] We begin to base our eligibility for gathering on a checklist of the spiritual disciplines. If we haven’t done the things we’re expected to do, we shy away and avoid contact. Our grounds for gathering becomes our performance.

Paul’s letter to the Galatians is a helpful reminder–

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Galatians 3:1-3 ESV)

What is the ground for our gathering? Our common need of salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the ground for this gathering. And if we believe, that’s all we need to belong. So brothers and sisters, let’s admit we don’t have it all straight. Our common need of a seamless garment is what unites us, not our own rags. When we have that straight, we can be honest, joyful and open when we gather.


About clydeblogs
I am husband to my sweetheart Lisa, and we are parents of our sweetheart Claire Renae and the curiously cute Evan. I wish I could say that I speak a little, and think a lot, but I think I speak a lot and think less than I should.

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