It didn’t have a steeple, a cross, or a pastor for that matter. No opening song, offering or sermon. It was the smallest church I ever attended! In fact, we didn’t even realize we were in church!
The two of them walked down that dusty road on their way to that town on purpose for some unknown reason. This day, it certainly would not be about the destination, it would be all about the journey. As they walked, they talked. There was nothing special about their conversation that day either, at least not until “He” joined them. They didn’t recognize Him as He began to walk with them. He appeared to be just another traveler on their road that day. They simply walked on and talked.
The conversation turned to what had occurred recently in town. These were facts the two friends were surprised the stranger seemed completely ignorant of. They admitted they had believed Jesus of Nazareth was the long awaited Messiah. That is, until the Romans had crucified him last week. Now they were just discouraged and heartbroken.
The Stranger told the two that they were not believing all that was written concerning the Messiah in their Bibles. He said, the Messiah was predicted to come and die and only then, to enter His glory. This kind Teacher then opened their minds to the Scriptures as He led them through passages they had read but never fully understood before. It was all there! How had they missed it?
As they arrived at the fork leading to their destination, the wise Stranger appeared to be going further. They begged Him to stay with them because it was so late in the day. He agreed. As they sat to break bread, their Guest, took the bread and broke it in order to give it to them. As He did, they suddenly recognized the Christ they had been discussing theoretically was actually right there with them personally. Then suddenly, He vanished!
Jesus had said “Where two or more are gathered in my Name, there am I in their midst.”
Now, It may have happened as you spoke of Him with your spouse at the breakfast table, or discussed what heaven will be like with your grandchild. It could have happened when you paused to thank God for an evening out with friends while you all were still in the car or any of a myriad of other times and places.
The “where”we are, Jesus made clear, is the utterly unimportant. The “how” we are, where we are, is the all important. Gathering “in His Name” invites the presence of the invisible Savior to manifest Himself to everyone present. In fact, It’s more than an invitation, it’s His solemn declaration: “There I Am, In your midst.”
A little boy wrote his letter to God. It was brief and to the point. “Dear God, I went to church last Sunday. It was okay, but it would have been better if you had been there!”
You see, gathering in His Name can happen any “where” we are or it can fail to happen “everywhere” we are!.
Enough said. I think we now know what to do.