When We Assemble

Christian worship is of course a human activity. Christian worship is about drawing near to God in God prescribed ways. Christian worship is our response of praise to God. Christian communal worship is our active response of praise to God for His greatness and grace, His holiness and hope. When we assemble, we approach God through Jesus the Messiah in the Spirit (John 4:24; Philippians 3:3; Hebrews 12:22-24; Revelation 19:10; 22:3, 9).

Christian communal worship is not going to a concert and watching an artist perform? It requires active participation on our part to go together into the throne room of God. What matters is that we approach God in spirit. It does not matter if are in an auditorium, a house, or by a river. What matters is that we deliberately draw near to God as He has revealed to us.

We can be in auditorium with others and worship is taking place all around us, but if we have not drawn near to God in spirit then we have not worshiped God. We can in front of a computer screen using Zoom to connect with others as we worship God and if we draw near to God in spirit with our brothers and sisters in the Lord then we have worshiped. We can meet at a building practicing physical distancing and wearing masks, if we draw near to God in spirit then we have worshiped God.

What matters is that we go to the throne room of God in the spirit.

We are blessed to live in time when we can assemble in spirit online through Zoom or Facebook. Like Paul was with the church at Corinth “in spirit” (1 Cor. 5:3-4), as we gather physically and online, we are together “in spirit.” Some of us are currently in situations where online access is the best way for us for us to assemble with our brethren. Joining the assembly online with others is not “forsaking the assembly.” It is assembling.

I hope you agree with me that physically assembling is better. We hear our brothers and sisters sing. We are encouraged by fellowship with one another. It is easier to stay focused in our worship in physical assembly (no dogs barking, not just hearing our own voice singing, etc.). Assembling online requires more discipline, more focus. In our comfortable, familiar environments, it takes even more concentration for our spirits to go to God’s throne room.

The place where we assemble is not the home, the internet, or a church building. We assemble in the throne room of God through the communion of the Holy Spirit (Heb. 12:18-29; Rev. 4 & 5). When our souls sing and our spirits take us to the throne room of God, we join the chorus of angels around the throne singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” (Revelation 4:8). We come together in spirit to “Worship God” (Revelation 19:10; 22:9).

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