Where two or three gather, Jesus is there.
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What do you call two crows sitting on a fence? An attempted murder.
This eucalyptus tree in the neighborhood where I grew up is not growing some weird black fruit. Those are crows. A group of crows is called a murder. No one is really sure why crows gather together. Maybe it’s for protection. Maybe they simply gather in the best roosting spot. There may be a social reason, but since crows can’t talk that remains a mystery.
It may also seem mysterious why humans gather together. I suppose we each have our reasons. Where Christians gather, we call that a church. But I have often heard Christians claim that they don’t go to church because they find God better in the mountains or the bookstore. While I can understand this (I personally hear God’s voice more often in solitude than in a group), the New Testament doesn’t seem to contemplate the idea that a Christian might not be part of a church community.
Real growth occurs as we interact with each other, with varying styles of parenting, with other ways of hearing God’s voice, with different political views. But this can also cause pain and hurt. If we work through that pain and hurt, the other side yields maturity. If we instead cut others out of our lives, we stunt our growth as well as theirs.
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
Matthew 18:20 English Standard Version
This verse comes from a larger context where Jesus talks about resolving conflict in community. I once heard it misquoted tongue in cheek. “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there will be conflict.” The ability to resolve conflict is not just a nice idea, it is essential. We expect conflict to arise in the political arena, work situations, and within families at home.
But in the midst of the conflict, Jesus says He is there… among them. He is here, among us. I am so thankful for my community. We need each other.
Copyright Photo and Text David Brukiewa