The pandemic we now face has kept Christians from gathering according to our regular schedule. Christians are communicating with each other by any means possible. We are concerned for each other and that concern is renewing connections with Christians near and far. Because of our temporary isolation, I have had contact with Christians I had not spoken to in years. The renewed relationships are encouraging, and the out-of-the-ordinary communication with local Christians is leading to more meaningful conversations than we normally have.
Let’s recognize this raised level of communication as the blessing it is, and keep it going. Let’s continue encouraging and teaching through Facebook, let’s continue sharing Bible study times online. I’m not suggesting we should try to replace our typical gatherings; I’m saying we ought to maintain this earnest desire to communicate and cooperate beyond them.
I have often thought about the advantages enjoyed by first-century Christians, especially the ability to have God’s message directly revealed to them to speak by the Holy Spirit. But have you considered the appreciation the apostles and early Christians would have had for our ability to communicate so effectively while continuing the Lord’s work hundreds of miles from one another?
Consider Acts 20:38. Paul called the elders from Ephesus to say goodbye. He was traveling to Jerusalem, which was no small distance away. Paul explained that they would not see his face again. Their sadness is recorded in verse 37-38:
"And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship."
What would they say if you told them they could speak with and see Paul anytime, wherever he was, and get an immediate, live response?
Our current difficulties are forcing us to make creative use of our blessings to connect with each other. Let’s remember the good being produced by this set of trials, and grow into God’s design for us (cf. James 1:1-4).