Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14–15, NIV 1984).
My Musings – A household is defined as individuals who comprise a family unit and who live together under the same roof; individuals who dwell in the same place and comprise a family; all those who are under the control of one domestic head. For the purposes of insurance, the terms family and household are frequently used inter-changeably. (https://legaldictionary.thefreedictionary.com/household).
We have become such a mobile society that we may live far away from our family. And it is a great and comforting feeling to go home or have others come home from time-to-time. Something about that coming back together is irreplaceable. We can talk on the phone, text, and do face-time, but these are no substitute for bringing back the feelings of being a household once again, if even for a brief time. We’ve had to resort to this with our son during the pandemic, as I am sure many of you have had to do with your family. I imagine that you agree it is not a satisfactory substitute.
The Church is God’s household. The church building may be His house, but believers are His household, of which He is the “domestic head.” No matter where we go, at least in the western world, we can find a local body, a local “household” where we can feel at home. Watching a tele-evangelist on TV or livestreaming your “home” church’s service is no substitute for the sense of community (a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals) we feel when we gather together in person.
My Advice – During the pandemic, there are legitimate reasons why some will be unable to attend church in-person. But once it is over, or when you feel comfortable doing so, make sure you come “home” again. Being “home alone” cannot compete in the long-run.
The first century Church knew this. Risking life and limb, they secretly met together as a family. Today, we sometimes do not join with our church family to worship and praise, merely because it is less convenient than the ways mentioned above. Do you think the first century Church was inconvenienced? You bet. But they assembled together anyway because they understood that the benefit of community (“the pillar and foundation of the truth”) far outweighed the inconvenience (in their case risking their life).
Maybe you’ve been away for a long time. Maybe just for the duration of the pandemic. You can go home again. You’re still family. Still a member of the household. When one part is missing, the whole Body suffers. Home is where you belong.