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The Gathering

The phenomenon is called "shikadamari" in Japanese. A loose translation would be, "deer gathering spot." A large population of free-roaming deer live in and around the Japanese city of Nara, spending most of their time in the city park.

Every summer evening at around 6:30, over 600 deer gather in the same spot for the same amount of time. The deer quietly come together, sit down for about an hour, then stand back up and disperse to different parts of the park.

While onlookers are impressed by the display of consistency of the gathering of the deer, nobody has been able to explain the purpose (Zora News, August 20,2019).

Someone outside of the Lord's church might see Christians coming together on a regular basis at the same times, and for the same lengths of time, yet not understand the purpose for those gatherings.

Members of the body of Christ understand that assembling to worship God and learn more of His Word is not only commanded in Scripture, but is also vital for spiritual growth and survival.

According to Hebrews 10:24-25, Christians are to come together on a regular basis in order to stir up love and good works and to encourage one another. Those things aren't possible to accomplish if brothers and sisters in Christ don't gather together on a regular basis.

Colossians 3:16 instructs Christians to teach and admonish one another. That can't happen if Christians don't gather together on a regular basis. Acts 20:7 gives us the example of Christians gathering consistently on the first day of the week in order to break bread together. In Acts 15:30-31, we read about the congregation in Antioch coming together to listen to the reading of a letter written to them by the apostles, elders of Jerusalem. The Christians who heard the letter rejoiced because of the encouragement it brought. The consistent and regular gathering of Christians is no mystery.

Troy Albers

Graber Road church of Christ

Rosenberg, TX


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