With stay at home orders issued by governors across our great land, when quarantine is self-imposed by many who are afraid of getting sick or spreading disease – why are so many churches jumping through hoops to figure out a way to assemble and be responsible good citizens? It’s not surprising that a secular world is appalled or shaking its head in bewilderment. Why are we so eager to assemble?
It was on the first day of the week that Christians assembled together to eat the Lord’s Supper and to worship God (Acts 20:7). Although Christians were in the habit of fellowshipping and praying together on a daily basis (Acts 2:46), there was a special anticipation of each coming Sunday (Hebrews 10:25), It was on that day that they remembered and proclaimed that the Lord arose victoriously from the grave, conquering death (John 20:1ff). In keeping with the instructions of Jesus, when Christians eat the bread and drink the fruit of the vine, they remember the sacrificial body and shed blood of their Savior (1 Corinthians 11:23-29). When Christians assemble on the first day of the week, they encourage one another, they worship their Creator, they express thanksgiving for their soul’s salvation and eternal hope, and they meditate on the most astounding and wonderful events in the history of the world.
It is true that a Christian can worship alone. If a Christian is the only Christian in a city or town or remote village, he or she is the church in that place. It’s not a far stretch to imagine that the apostle Paul in all of his travels or imprisonments found himself alone some Sundays and worshipped, observing the Lord’s Supper, praying, singing, meditating on God’s word and giving when could. But the book of Acts reveals that Paul was always looking to join himself to God’s people when he came to a place. The Lord established his church to be a fellowship of saints. The house of God which is the church of God is a family. Family members need and support one another. The church of Christ is the body of Christ and every member of the body is to work together for the good of the whole body. The assembly on the first day of the week is vital to the spiritual health of God’s people.