Characteristics of Christian Community

In an age of individualism, Christians would do well to open our bibles and look at the testimony of Scripture: There are no solitary Christians. Persecuted? Yes. Imprisoned? Certainly. Banished? Undoubtedly. Solitary? Never. In fact, walking through the New Testament epistles, I am reminded of how little is addressed to the individual. The bulk of our New Testament canon is directed to the church, and even when an epistle is written to one, for example Timothy, it is for the sake of the church, and in the context of the local church, specifically. Even the Greek word ekklesia that we translate as “church” literally means “assembly.” No one assembles alone.

The Blessing of Corporate Worship

While we are still assessing the worldwide issues that came out of the pandemic, for Christians, surely, we can agree that one of the key lessons learned was the value of corporate worship on the Lord’s Day. Perhaps we got a taste of what our brothers and sisters face in countries where they are not free to assemble in worship or even persecuted for it. How easy it is to take in-person, assembled worship for granted. You may remember, like me, the anticipation and excitement of returning to corporate worship with grateful hearts to praise the Lord together. Now, I want you to think back to that moment, and capture that in your memory, if you can. Because, that experience captures the essence of this psalm. Or, borrowing from this psalm, we could say that we were blessed to bless the Lord.