“Gather/Gathering: to bring together, to pick up or amass as if by harvesting, to scoop up or take up from a resting place, to serve as an attraction for, to prepare (as oneself) by mustering strength, to reach a conclusion often intuitively from hints or through inferences, to draw about or close to something, to come together in a body, to cluster around a focus of attraction”– Merriam Webster Dictionary.
When believers gather together there is a rich resource of strength to be found. When we come together in one place, in one accord, with a shared heart and focus of mind. When we gather together in the name of Jesus to seek Him and be found by Him.
There is always the temptation to have meetings for the sake of meetings, to create the appearance of productivity and progress without the power or manifest presence of God to back it up. Nevertheless, there is power in gathering together.
‘All the believers were together and had everything in common…’- Acts 2 v 44
‘Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved ’- Acts 2 v 46-47
What a beautiful and sacred picture this paints. Think of the memories they created together, the connections they built with each other over time, the visions and dreams they must have shared with one another. It was a place of safety, so much so that God actively brought increase, He entrusted them with more and more people. This is a picture of true fellowship.
Of course, rubbing shoulders in such close proximity would bring its fair share of challenges too. Wrong attitudes and motives are sure to have been exposed and purified, nerves grated on, patience and perseverance learned. This is the stuff of life.
These gatherings would have allowed time for significant things to happen. Time to plant and uproot. Time to heal. A time to build and to tear down. A time to weep and to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to embrace and to refrain from embracing. A time to search. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to be silent and a time to speak.
These things did not occur in isolation, in a vacuum or on an island. They occurred in the context of community, in the heart of a gathering.
When we gather together we are a visible image of the harvest of God. In the collective of worshippers there is a shared anointing, a shared vision which is birthed and sustained by unity.
We serve as an attraction and a resting place for our God. We draw close to God and to each other, drawing strength and preparing ourselves to move forward. We inspire each other and fresh revelation springs forth.
When we are gathered together in His name, He is among us.
May we be expectant and ready for a holy visitation of God when we gather together as on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2 v 1-4). Waiting for the ‘suddenly’ to happen. He has done it before and He will do it again.
Let us not forsake the gathering. We are family, we are in this together.
Have you experienced the benefits of gathering?