Daily Devotional #7
Daily Devotional with Pastor John
Tuesday, February 22
Our Need for Community
John, to the seven churches that are in Asia.
The vision given to the Apostle John in the Revelation was not meant to be a private ecstatic experience for his solitary exile on Patmos. It was for “the seven churches.” Believing the Gospel draws us into community. The same salvation that reconciles us to God also reconciles us to each other and draws into a community of persons who live by faith. A believing community is the context for a life of faith.
In John’s day it was politically dangerous to assemble together; a private faith would have been safer and more convenient. Be that as it may, John addressed the Revelation “to the seven churches” not to seven individuals. The letter was to be read communally because it contained truths that related to their shared experience in Christ. In spite of all that raged around them churches continued to meet because they understood “the life of faith is developed under the image of the Trinity in the context of community” (Eugene Peterson).
By “meeting together” we should not think that this simply meant attending. The exhortation in Hebrews to “not give up meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25) means so much more than worship service attendance. It means heart-felt participation in all the church’s community life and experience (See Acts 2:42-47).
Privatism and individualism are unfortunately the defining “isms” of our day, fuelled by unbridled exposure to social media and cell phone addiction. The past two years of periodic COVID disruptions and social distancing restrictions have eased many into the new norm of on-line, stay at home worship. All of this is ultimately unhelpful to our souls and the needed enjoyment of community life centred in Christ.
If you know brothers and sisters in Christ, who for reasons and circumstances beyond their control are unable to participate and enjoy community, then do what you can to bless and include them. If your “exile” in these past two years has eased you into the community destroying rhythms of individualistic worship and spirituality then determine today that you will break the shackles and experience again “how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).
- Ask God what you can do to help a fellow Christian who may be isolated and needs fellowship.
- Pray for yourself or others who need to be restored to the revitalizing experience of rich, spiritually nurturing fellowship and in-person worship
- Thank the Lord the adverse effects of COVID are coming to an end and the regathering of the West Highland family is coming soon.