“We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming” (Hebrews 10:24-25 God’s Word).

Gathering together seems a vital element to growing in faith, keeping on the right path, as well as simply relational health. Even though organized religion has proven itself inhospitable to spiritual people I have insisted in finding, and keeping, a circle of colleagues in Christ.

Very recently an experience shook my perception. Not to dissuade from such gathering, but rather what that gathering might look like.

First, a face-to-face gathering with a group of followers of The Way surely fulfills the Bible’s call of accountability.

worldBut, through an encouraging comment made to me, and a similar comment I made to someone else, both the same hour and online (in cyberworld), drew attention to human-limited thinking. There are blogs I follow that result in a regular flow of comments back and forth. Suddenly I became aware that this online community also fulfills the call for gathering.

In other words, my definition of community and assembly and collegiality expanded. One does not replace the other, but they compliment each other to fulfill the wisdom of God in getting into, and staying in, spiritual community.

When I look around any regular dialogue with other followers of The Way, in whatever form it may take, adds to the encouragement and growth and correction and expansion of view of those who walk by faith.

Now I grasp the possibilities of a global circle which in ways beyond limit can be Paraclete at work.

For those who figured this out don’t be too harsh, just rejoice I figured it out. If you remain a little restricted in your gathering may this encourage you to consider expanded possibilities.

Circle hugThe circle is fuller than I realized, with lots of room for expansion.

So, in new ways we can “encourage each other to show love and to do good things.”

“I can guarantee that on this rock [‘No human revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven revealed it to you’ verse 17] I will build my church. And the gates of hell will not overpower it”
(Matthew 16:18 God’s Word).