It is by the grace of God that a congregation is permitted to gather visibly in this world to share God’s Word and sacrament. Not all Christians recieve this blessing. The imprisoned, the sick, the scattered lonely, the proclaimers of the Gospel in heathen lands stand alone. They know that visible fellowship is a blessing. They remember, as the Psamlist did, how they went “with the multitude… to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday” (Ps 42:4)…. Therefore, let him who until now has had the privilege of living in common Christian life with other Christians praise God’s grace from the bottom of his heart. Let him thank God on his knees and declare: It is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren.
A few steps of action:
1. Pause now & praise God for the grace He has shown in giving us the local church. Thank Him for His grace that allows us to live in community with fellow pilgrims.
2. Reach out to one (a shut-in, one who works odd hours, or a missionary) and remind them they are not forgotten – by Christ or by His local church community.