Leviticus 17.8-9 commands: Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among them who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice and does not bring it to the entrance to the tent of meeting to sacrifice it to the Lord must be cut off from the people of Israel.
Too many who call themselves Christians profess to love God but despise His Church. God calls His Church His bride so what many Christians declare is that they like the Groom but detest the bride. This attitude makes a relationship difficult.
Certainly we have all felt that our lives would be easier, better and or simpler if there just weren’t people involved in them to complicate them. This is the very reason for our need for both family and the family of God.
Beginning with Israel, and today’s passage, God has been all about community. God forbid Israel to engage in private worship and He commands Christians to likewise meet together as frequently as possible.
It is in the context of family where we receive and give love, support, security, acceptance and encouragement. God calls His Church not only His bride but also His children.
God uses the most familiar family metaphors to describe the relationship He intends for us to have so that we will know how to live with one another.
Regrettably some have had terrible family and church experiences. That doesn’t negate the desire to have healthy ones nor God’s command that we should be part of the process for ensuring such experiences for others.
It is in the context of family we most and best get to practice loving others as we love ourselves. It is in the context of family where this command is most difficult to live consistently but because it is family ‘do overs’ are encouraged, allowed and accepted.
The Church is the family of God. We don’t get to worship alone because God is with His people.
He is Father, and He has called all of His children to gather to His house at least once a week for a meal, a song and instruction so that we can live the rest of the week better together and more fruitful in His work.