My Spring Bible study gave me a serendipity about what’s so important about getting together with other Christians. Specifically… Why should we gather together? Why pray before starting? Why study God’s word as a group?
It all began one morning during my “homework” with Jennifer Rothschild’s Missing Pieces. She broke down the Latin word for companionship: “con” meaning with and “pan” meaning bread. The study was centered around the “Road to Emmeus” story in Luke 24:28-31.
Why gather? Plainly Hebrews 10:25 tells us to! We need it for the encouragement it brings and because Jesus promises to be there in our midst when we are together (Matt. 18:20). I like when Jesus has”skin on.” You know, flesh and blood people to hug and see and hear. They are like Jesus in action, telling me what I need to hear at just the right time. That won’t always happen unless we purpose to get together and communicate; tell our stories. On the road to Emmeus, 2 men were walking together, discussing the life of Jesus and suddenly He was right there along side them. We gather- He comes with…
Why pray when we gather? In the Emmeus story those same 2 men invited their “guest” in, not realizing it was their friend Jesus. They were simply wanting to hear more of what this man was teaching them. All through the life of Christ we read about Him acting as a gentleman -accepting invitations offered. We need a heart that’s ready to receive. So go ahead, invite Him in and be ready for what He’s going to teach.
Why study God’s word together? In the scripture Jesus is called “the Bread of life” (John 6:48), also called “the Word of life” (1 John 1:1). When we sit down and take time to study the Scriptures together, learning about our Savior, we are “breaking bread together” so to speak. Truth flows and our hearts and minds are changed by God’s Word. It never goes out and returns void. There is always reward! In the story, the men all sit down to eat and at the breaking of the bread and the blessing, their eyes were opened!
Every week my women’s group has someone struggling in life’s hard circumstances. Sometimes they just can’t see what God is up to (me included). Then, there’s another soul who’s usually “been there.” It amazes me that when we gather and invite Jesus as a guest, He shows up! Eyes are opened as we open the Word. All of our problems and concerns don’t magically disappear, but new perspective is gained through discussion. God uses us (our own experiences) to help each other. The reward has been friendship, and learning… just a little more of Who He is.
My 2 oldest Bible-study-buddies 🙂