September 17, 2007
In a previous post, I mentioned that the concept of "life" is less about individual organisms and more about the relationships between those organisms. Life is really the spark between things, and not necessarily the things themselves.
In the New Testament, there's a passage where Jesus says something that has baffled me for years. It's in the middle of several messages Jesus is giving to His disciples, and towards the end, He says:
Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. (Matthew 18:19-20)
The whole "two or three come together" bit has always made me scratch my head, because the text seems to indicate that having less than two together precludes Christ's presence. But the Bible doesn't teach that an individual's prayers or petitions to God are unheard; there are many cases in the text where a person, on their own, cries out to God and God answers. What's going on here? What's being said about the "two or three" believers?
I think the answer is found in a short quote from a book titled You Are Special: Words of Wisdom for All Ages from a Beloved Neighbor, by Fred Rogers. Yes, the Mr. Rogers.
In the book, he says:
The older I get, the more convinced I am that the space between communicating human beings can be hallowed ground.
In the same way the notion of physical life is the spark between living things, spiritual life may be the spark between believers. In the midst of believers working together, we see the work of Christ made manifest. No organism is an island; likewise, no Christian is an island. The fullness of what it means to be alive, whether as an organism or as a member of the body of Christ, can be seen when two or more are gathered.