April 2, 2007, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

Worship alone?

Pastor Steve Thorson, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Cokato

God is calling the people of our church (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato) to Pray every day, Worship every week, Read and study the Bible, Serve at and beyond our church, Relate with others for spiritual growth, and Give generously as God has first given to them. This PoWeR SuRGe emphasis has people asking if it’s okay to worship alone.

Bible-believing Christians know God is always gathering people. The Bible says, in First John 4:20, that you can’t love God without also loving other believers. Loving others cannot happen if we are not with them. All of this leads me to believe that worship, which has to do with loving God and others, requires gathering.

When we realize that someone is cut off from others, perhaps because of pain or disability, it is our responsibility to make sure they are not left alone to worship on a regular basis. As servants of the Good Shepherd, Christians reach out to visit and pray with (not only pray “for”) those who are injured. We go to them, share scripture, sing, pray, and, when possible, share the Lord’s Supper with them, until the isolating factors are removed and they can gather once again at church.

Of course, we can have worshipful feelings and times of prayer when we are alone, but living independent of others is harmful to the soul. The devil is often at work trying to divide us from one another, telling us that we do not need each other, saying that we only need God.

But God always gathers people. Read the scriptures and see how God works through communities of believers. This is true in both Old and New Testaments.

And the fullest expression of God’s love is when he comes to be with us, not only in “spirit,” but in the flesh. We, therefore, as followers of God in Jesus Christ, are called by God to do the same, to gather, body, soul and spirit. For, as Jesus said, where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there with them.

See you in church!

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