Enjoying music, sporting events, ocean sounds, mountain vistas, fireworks, for me, is a beautiful pastime. For me, however, experiencing any of those things LIVE and in person, takes it to the next level. There is nothing better than experiencing joyful things in a multi-sensory way. The sounds, the smells, the emotions, the companionship, perhaps the accompanying foods, all cumulatively spark a greater joy. When I am able to worship Jesus, something that makes my heart full, in a space with others, that is a bliss that is indescribable!
We are urged in Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” For me, this says “go to the live concert!” We can be adamant Jesus followers, we can study and know His Word, we can speak with Him throughout each and every day, but there is something about doing it corporately that makes a full bucket overflow.
A fellowship gathering with others who love Jesus augments any way that we commune with God. Discussing God’s Word with friends gives us perspectives that we may not even consider until we hear someone else say it. Hearing music that speaks to us blesses our inner being, but singing, and hearing the music reverberate in our body as well as our mind, and hearing others sing with us from their heart, lets our souls sing along. Participating as someone near us speaks or sings to God, in His Name, heightens the awareness of His presence in our midst.
There are reasons for the Biblical encouragement to gather in His name. There is strength in numbers. Joy is multiplied. Burdens are lessened because they are carried on more shoulders. Even the early church experienced greater joy when they met together:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day 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 favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
Covid has hamstrung us a bit with respect to our live gatherings, but when we have the opportunity, it increases the health of our heart, soul, mind, and strength to physically unite in Jesus’s name!