24th March 2020

Meeting Places

“And let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us encourage one another with words of hope.”
Hebrews 10:25 (NIRV)

This morning I ‘attended’ my first online interactive church meeting with 30 members of the local church I normally meet with. It made me think. You’d have to be as old as I am to remember ‘The Grove Family,’ the UKs first TV soap opera back in the mid 1950s. I was no more a soap opera fan then than I am now, but living with my grandma I saw the odd episode. It was very popular, although compared to todays sleek soaps the ponderous storylines clanked along rather clumsily. A major reason for this was that it didn’t have a meeting place like Coronation Street’s ‘Rovers Return’ Pub or East Enders’ ‘Queen Vic’ or a cafe as in some Australian soaps. The scriptwriters constantly had to find excuses for characters to turn up at the Grove’s front door to keep the storyline flowing. Modern soaps mostly, if not all, use meeting places to bring together all manner of diverse characters, usually to gossip, row or fall in love and sometimes all three.

For Christians ‘church’ is our meeting place. It’s our opportunity to sing and praise God together, to talk and to listen, to learn and to encourage, to meet our friends, and above all, to honour God. In tough times we find someone to share our burdens. We drink tea and chat and smile and pray and even laugh. Hopefully at the end we go home the better for it. And yet, now this is all about to change isn’t it?

Well one thing isn’t changing. 1 John 4:11 says “Dear friends, since God loved us so much, we should also love one another.” We may be separated for a time from our brothers and our sisters face to face, and our usual meeting places, but we aren’t separated from the love of God. We can express His love in other ‘meeting places’—the telephone or mobile, emails, Skype, cards or dare I say it, letters (remember them?)! When you make a phone call to another church member or an isolated widow or some other lonely person, Jesus is at both ends of the call, and in between, seeking to love and comfort. When we reach out to an anxious person we don’t only connect with them, we meet Jesus too. There are more meeting places than you might think—Let’s use them.

Prayer
Father, encourage us not only to continue meeting together, but grant us rich opportunity to reach out and share with so many worried and frightened people, the comfort and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Amen

Study by Doug Bass
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About the Author:
Doug Bass is a member of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Coulsdon
Coulsdon Community Church
Coulsdon Community Centre
Barrie Close
Chipstead Valley Road
COULSDON
CR5 3BE

Meeting Time:
Sunday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
Brian Smith
Phone: 01243-699812
Email: coulsdon@gracecom.church

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