For where two or three gather together in my name, I am there among them. Matthew 18:20
I met with a fellow pastor yesterday for about 45 minutes on a zoom call. I must admit, this pandemic is changing a lot of our patterns of doing things, but not all of them are bad. Take this meeting for instance. This was someone I have never met, though we have many mutual friends. Had we not had this meeting on zoom, it would have meant getting in my car and driving about 40 minutes to get to a Starbucks equidistant from each other, where we could meet, order a latte, and sit down and talk. Say we met for the same 45 minutes, you have to add roughly an hour and a half driving both ways, figure a few more minutes transition getting yourself and the car ready, then getting back into whatever you were doing before all this started, and whole thing has pretty much eaten up the whole afternoon. Whereas, this way, I see it’s time for our meeting, I click on the zoom link and there is my new friend staring me in the face.
So what’s been lost on this zoom meeting? Not much. I get his voice, his facial expressions, his body language. About the only thing I don’t get is a handshake.
But what about the Lord? Anything lost there? Well, we prayed at the end, and the Holy Spirit was surely a part of our conversation. So do you think the Lord was there? He said He would be, even if just two gather together. So, of course He was there! He’s not limited by anything. He’s the Lord of all, in all and through all. We counsel people and pray for people all the time over the phone. That’s no problem for Him either.
We gather together on Sundays on Facebook live. We gather together on Wednesday nights and Thursday mornings on zoom. We talk with Christian thought leaders every Tuesday by BlogTalkRadio. We have discipleship going on all the time via some form of live internet. We pray with people and counsel any way we can. According to Jesus, each one of these times there are at least two people gathered together in His name, so there is the Lord in the midst. There is the Lord! This is undoubtedly the wave of the future even after the pandemic subsides. Good thing God isn’t averse to using the internet.
I’ve been thankful to have been able to be involved in more district and conference events, webinars, etc through the United Methodist Church. Stuff I never would have carved out the entire day to travel to. It is definitely one of the blessings God has given us in the midst of difficult times.