This verse is ever so poignant in our current Covid situation – where large gatherings are restricted. We have re-defined church in our heads, and a lot of house churches have grown or sprung up new. Things like livestream, connecting in Bible study via Zoom is normal language now, as we attempt to stay connected in a disconnected, socially distant world.
I love this verse that came from Jesus himself. In a time where people would gather at the synagogue for “worship”, they had forgotten what worship really meant. They had (like so many of us), performed the rituals time and time again in the hope that the ritual would be enough to grant forgiveness. Jesus the radical came to challenge the thinking of the majority. He came and said – actually worship is all about soaking in the presence of God. I can imagine him shaking His head and saying ‘no…let’s reframe this…where 2 or 3 are gathered, I am there! Worship me in your homes, as you walk, as you eat, as you chat with each other. Find small moments to soak in my presence – don’t wait for the large gathering.’
This is the promise of His presence to us. Whether we are able to gather in a large congregation setting, or have family worship in the evening, or gather with friends in the lounge, river or park, Jesus has promised from his own mouth that His presence is there with us. There is something beautiful about large gatherings and tradition, but only if we hold onto the true meaning of soaking Gods presence in our lives. Jesus is not a once-a-week “meal”. He wants us to constantly drip feed his presence in our lives.