(Red-letter portions of the New Testament)

Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

There is something about getting together in the same room with those of like precious faith, that writing letters, talking on the phone, skyping or face-booking doesn’t have. It’s called social interaction or better yet spiritual interaction.

Why did Jesus come to earth? Emmauel! God with us! God isn’t just in heaven or in a book. He came to be “in the room” with us. Even now, when His presence is with us through the Holy Spirit, it is like a touch of heaven.

There is something special about “brothers dwelling together in unity.” (Psalm 133:1). “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122:1).

In this time of “social distancing,” it may keep us healthier physically. But how healthy will we be spiritually, socially, emotionally, and psychologically? How much will we suffer in the meantime, cut off from “the gathering of ourselves, together?”

“Do not neglect to meet together, as some are in the habit of doing. But encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

In these last days, we need more “meeting together,” not less. If we are not sick (100.5 degrees, coughing or sneezing). We can bleach everything, stay 3” feet away, refrain from hugging or shaking hands so much, still follow protocols and be in the same room praising the Lord together. Worship is healthy.

We can still gather together in smaller groups, not just in our home with those we live, but for the expressed purpose of meeting with others in the name of the Lord.

Then we can look each other in the eye and be encouraged from heartfelt emotions and testimonies we share with each other, face to face. We can be strengthened and comforted by the Lord’s presence in our midst.

Especially in a time of “social distancing,” we need to find ways, following necessary protocols, to gather together, expressly for the Lord, at least in small groups to encourage one another in ways we can’t do through so-called “social” media. We need to do it for our spiritual health.

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

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