Over the last month or so, I’ve been working on the next installment of our new Thanksgiving Journals. Around Christmas, we released pre-orders of our Thanksgiving in the Psalms Journal, which should be in-hand soon. Recently, I’ve been working through Thanksgiving in Paul’s Epistles, and I’m in First Corinthians.
One of the aspects of thanksgiving that Paul draws out is that it removes hindrances to people coming together. Thanksgiving is like glue in that it binds and draws people near to each other. The reason for this is that thanksgiving multiplies.
What I mean is that when thankful hearts are together, you have a multiplier. Thanksgiving must be shared. You can’t help but share the reason or item of your thanksgiving. When thankful, you want others to be thankful because it makes your thanksgiving all the more impactful. One person tells one person that tells another person and so on.
Yes, thanksgiving is contagious, but it also multiplies as it resounds out into a crowd.
The church in Corinth was dealing with all kinds of issues which were creating division in the church. And, it was that division that Paul was attacking in his letter.
The ultimate point of this letter is encouraging the unity of the church because it’s this unity that glorifies God and encourages God’s people the most.
I think many who teach this letter of Paul focus on the standards and law and offense of others. We are to do things with our neighbors’ sensibilities in mind. This is true, but I don’t believe we are going quite far enough with this teaching.
Paul was instructing the church in all these issues because he wanted the Corinthians to experience the power and impact of a unified church. What I am saying is that in praising God together we glorify God more! It’s like our preaching, teaching, and singing resounds all the more when we are together. We are not meant to be alone. God created us to be with others.
In short, gathering together as followers of Christ is essential. This means that gathering together becomes a priority. It’s worthy of pushing every other competing hope and principle out of the way to make sure that we gather. Because in that gathering, we are renewed; we are taught; we testify to God’s goodness; and we multiply the hope and power of the Holy Spirit.
Because in that gathering, we are renewed; we are taught; we testify to God’s goodness; and we multiply the hope and power of the Holy Spirit.
It is this kind of impact that Paul wanted for the Corinthian church. He wanted this unity and joy for them, and he felt that their division was stealing it from them. He wanted them together.
It was in this vein that Paul says,
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (I Cor. 10: 31).
When we as Christ-followers gather together, unified in Christ, our testimony and the power of the Gospel is multiplied. This is essential to our work and growth. We need each other. And, the power of this resounds into our heart and the heart of all those around us.
Unity in Christ multiplies the our appreciation of the Gospel of Christ and the love of Christ. But, this unity is best transferred in person. This makes gathering together essential. And, when gathered together you praise God in voice.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb. 10: 24-25).
You that are reading this should be gathering together each Sunday for church in person. But, you all should be at Teach Them Diligently as well!
We need to act like gathering together is essential and not optional! We can’t wait to see you very soon to celebrate our call and our great Savior together.