I’m thankful for online convenience. Today, I can download my groceries to my front door. I can even download my doctor so that I don’t have to make a trip to his office.
I also love the convenience of downloading books and teaching. I can download my pastor’s weekly sermons and books by the greatest leaders and Bible teachers of today and yesterday. Anywhere. Anytime. I can pause the audio whenever I need a break, or I can “swipe” it away if I lose interest. I like playing podcasts and books at 2x speed to get to the point quickly. Someone recently told me, “That explains why you speak the way do.” I’m certain that has more to do with all the coffee I drink.
One thing I can’t download is true community.
I really enjoy my online community of friends—hundreds of them. But nothing can replace the friendships formed through the encouragement of regularly meeting together (Hebrews 10:24-25) and the fellowship around Biblical teaching, a meal and prayer (Acts 2:42), and serving and loving one another (John 13:34-35).
This offline community is anything but convenient. It requires me to get in my car and drive to someone’s home. Occasionally, we have to let them in our home. How inconvenient. Oh, and there are no emoji’s here. All the faces of laughter, tears, anger and joy are real and can’t be swiped away, or thumbed up or down.
Also, there is no large crowd to blend in with here. It’s too small for that. Especially when someone needs help. Extremely inconvenient. And just when you think you’re feeling comfortable with the group, a new friend request pops up. More inconvenience.
But there’s nothing inconvenient about the love these families have for us and each other. We love praying and serving with them and watching God increase our faith together. We can’t thank God enough for the “good return for [our] labor” together and for the “cord” we’ve formed in Christ—one that can’t be “quickly broken.”
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12)
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