Faithful Christians have a strong desire to attend worship services. To worship God is a commandment, but it is also a high, exalted privilege. Wonderful things happen during worship. God’s people teach and admonish one another (Colossians 3:16). We reflect on the death of our Lord (Luke 22:19). God is praised and adored (Hebrews 2:12). We fulfill God’s commandment for His people to assemble on the first day of the week (Hebrews 10:25).
However, the recent Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted our lives and changed the place of worship for many. Because there is the danger of spreading the virus and infecting those must vulnerable, many congregations have met by means of Facebook Live. Although this has not been the ideal situation, social media and technology have enabled Christians to worship with some degree of togetherness.
Many Bible classes have been taught through Zoom. In some classes, there have been discussions, comments and questions. It has been encouraging to participate in Bible class with others during this very difficult time.
All these things have been helpful and encouraging; however, these ways of worshiping and studying God’s Word cannot replace regular, public assemblies. The clear teaching of Scripture is that God’s people are to come together in one place to worship. Consider what Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: “When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper” (1 Corinthians 11:20). Observe from this text that the Corinthians had a practice of coming “together into one place.” They were supposed to be partaking of the Lord’s Supper in their assemblies, but they were not partaking in the proper manner. That is why Paul wrote, “this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.” But the text makes the point: these early Christians met in one place—the same place—for worship.
In the city of Troas, God’s people met together for worship. Scripture says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7). These early Christians in Troas understood the great importance of assembling together for worship.
In recent months, it has not been feasible for many congregations to meet for worship. However, no one should use the pandemic as an excuse for neglecting worship. As soon as Christians can safely assemble for worship, we should assemble. Our attitude toward worship should be the same as David’s: “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1). One who says, “I’ll just worship at home,” and refuses to assemble when the local congregation is meeting, should evaluate his attitude toward worship.
Chapman church of Christ