His sweatshirt brought a smile to my face — "Rutgers University" emblazoned on the front. This young Kazakhstani university student who was a follower of Jesus had never ventured outside Kazakhstan yet somehow found a sweatshirt from a university near my home on the east coast of the United States. Over breakfast he asked me, "Where are you from?" My reply of Philadelphia brought an enthusiastic shout, "the 76'ers!" referring to Philadelphia's professional basketball team. My facial expression must have communicated a "How did you know?" look because he continued by saying, "Television!!"
Television's ubiquitous presence around the world has brought an easy source of connectedness. We are brought together around news, sports, and entertainment. Watching the Boston Red Sox defeat the New York Yankees on television shared with other followers of Jesus halfway around the world in Kazakhstan, was a surreal event — brought together around a small black box.
Television is a tremendous tool for good. However, at times I wonder what we miss by watching even the "good stuff". Believe me, watching the Red Sox win is "good stuff" to me! The early church, of course, did not have television. What did they have that we are missing while sitting in front of the tube watching "something good" intertwined with questionable advertisements and programs?
I fear that we are missing the best of life. We forfeit great riches when we neglect what the early church did as they gathered together:
- Sharing scripture together
- Praying with and for one another
- Sharing the real issues of each other's lives
- Fellowshipping around God's goodness
- Remembering Jesus
This week as we gather together with followers (or a follower) of Jesus, let us not only choose to be entertained but also the seek best for one another.
"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
Sharing the journey with you,