“Then on the second day the heads of fathers’ households of all the people, the priests and the Levites were gathered to Ezra the scribe that they might gain insight into the words of the law.” Nehemiah 8:13
One of the ripple effects of COVID-19 is a feeling of disconnect from spiritual community. That’s why taking part in a small group is more important than ever. Believers can still encourage one another, share prayer needs, and discuss Scripture – all online. And connecting with a small group of believers prompts us to act on what we learn.
That’s essentially what happened the day after revival broke out in Israel. When a group of leaders gathered to read God’s Law, they rediscovered the spiritual aspect to one of their traditions. During captivity, the Feast of Tabernacles had become more of a community harvest festival than a spiritual observance. But they didn’t just discuss it, they spread the word and encouraged one another to obey God’s Law. As a result, all of Israel rediscovered the joy of living together in spiritual community (vv14-17).
The same is true for us today. There’s simply no substitute for having a spiritual community. Our walk with the Lord is more consistent when we “do life” with a group of other believers. And like the Israelites, we help one another celebrate the full meaning of our most holy days, which have simply become seasonal holidays in our culture.
The danger these days is that we get used to watching church rather than participating. Ask yourself, “Who missed me when our church couldn’t meet?” Specific names and faces come to mind more quickly by taking part in a Bible study class.
So, if you’re missing out on the joy of spiritual community, then join a small group this week. Your local church office can tell you which groups are finding ways to connect; even as social distancing continues. Not only will your walk with the Lord be encouraged, but your presence will encourage others.