Gathering together while apart

Gathering together while apart

Written on 03/02/2021
Ulla Mia

Written by Ulla Mia
Especially during isolation, it seems all too easy to cancel out Christianity or faith in general. But really, circumstances of any kind are no reason or excuse to do so.

Despite all the painful circumstances He experienced on earth, Jesus didn’t give up on us. And the early church didn’t give up on their faith either.

Paul says in Hebrews 10:25 that we should not neglect to gather together. Obviously, many of us cannot do so physically due to the pandemic restrictions. But remaining strong in our faith should always be a priority.

My church has prioritized maintaining community, despite the current limitations. One way we’ve done this is has been through continuing to gather online.

Like so many Christian communities around the world, we’ve logged onto Zoom rather than sacrificing our relationships in these times.

Before the restrictions were introduced, I’d begun attending an Alpha course through my church. I wanted to find solid ground and reaffirmations of my faith in these troubling times. There’s something about sharing a room with others who truly care about you and support you. But half-way through the course, physical gatherings were restricted.

My mentor, who was leading the Alpha course, called me to let me know we were switching to an online format. He wanted to make sure I was still on board. I initially said no because felt like we were losing out on something precious. But he insisted and even talked me through the steps to set up Zoom.

Before we had to switch to online, I’d been drawn to my mentor’s brotherly character and gentle heart. He was always welcoming, energetic, joyful, and full of compassion. Time and again, he’s gently guided me and helped me work through questions about faith or my healing journey. Throughout all my brokenness, he’s never judged me.

I didn’t want any of that to change online. And honestly, despite the fact each of us were in separate houses in separate parts of the city, looking at each other through screens, it was almost as if we were together. Seeing my mentor and hearing him welcome me into the meeting felt so sweet.

To be sure, it was a bit hard to figure out how to format the course. We had to laugh through the technology struggles, but we still went through each evening as a community. Together. For a purpose. And we grew in our faith and our relationships.

That’s the point I want to make. Yes, our society and relationships look a lot different now. We have no control over that. But this is no reason to let go of our valuable communities. We humans were created for relationships! With God, with each other, and with ourselves.

This is such a beautiful thought. So, as Paul said, let’s not neglect to gather together, different as those gatherings may be. Let’s try to not forsake our blessed relationships with those God gave to us. They love us and need us as much as we need them.

In all our trials or victories in these times, let’s remain connected together in prayer. Let’s not forget the strength we have as one community under God Himself.