Post by the Husband
“The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.” (Acts 5:12)
There were “all together”.
After months of lockdown in most of the world, even the most introverted of us are starting to feel the need to get together with other people.
People through history have enjoyed getting together in crowds – united for various reasons – whether it is for a cause such as we are witnessing throughout the world right now, or for more trivial things like sports teams or to listen to someone perform. The shared human experience is powerful, and God put that desire in each of us to be together with other people.
God Himself does not exist in isolation – even before any of His creatures were formed, He existed in a unity of Three Persons. He was gathering together before humans even existed.
Here in the early church, what is striking is that the people gathered together — a lot. Contrary to the teaching that we “don’t need to be in a church to be a Christian” – it is hard to imagine any of those early Christians existing in isolation. Even the ones that were sent to prison were being prayed for, or famously writing the very Word of God as in the case of Paul and John which were directed to their fellow believers.
“And they were all together.”
Many people have been hurt in church or other group settings. So the natural thing to do is to become defensive and isolate ourselves. Perhaps the reason is that we need to “heal first” – or that we need to have “with God alone”.
Certainly there is a season that people may need to be focused mainly on God to the exclusion of other people. But that cannot last for long, and it is certainly not the vision that the New Testament portrays for believers.
In fact, it can be argued that the healing can only occur in fellowship.
It is through the togetherness that God brings His healing balm. If it was human hurt – then it is through humans that God brings the healing. Relational pain is often dealt with through relational interactions.
Certainly there was much friction within the church – there were arguments, even deaths (think Ananias and Sapphira!). But at no point does the bible teach us to solve our conflict by isolating ourselves from other believers.
Father I pray for my brothers and sisters who have been hurt before. I pray that You’d heal our wounds, and that You’d bring Your healing through the fellowship You will bring into our lives and may we stay together in Your name for Your glory.