Do you remember what happened to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night Jesus was arrested? They scattered—they ran off to their homes—each alone. Have you ever wondered what they did for the next few days, after that horrible night? They separated from one another.
That’s a picture of what happens to us when relationships are broken, when we experience deep disappointment at church, or when we fall into personal sin. We separate. We scatter. We run off to hide.
I always feel compelled to share a disclaimer after reading Acts 2! That was the ideal church model, but the church has always been made up of broken people, who have come from dysfunctional homes. Pain happens in the context of relationships. It’s inevitable. But GROWTH also happens, and I dare say growth won’t happen without some relational pain.
72 hours after the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples couldn’t stand the separation any longer. They gathered in the upper room. And there, Jesus showed up!
Jesus revealed Himself to them.
They experienced the fulfillment of Jesus promise: “Where two or three have come together in my name, I am there among them.” They came together, united, and they touched Jesus. That night Jesus revealed things they would have never seen had they remained separate and alone.
But there was one who didn’t come. Scripture doesn’t tell us why Thomas didn’t show, but it does tell us the result on his faith. Thomas missed out on the revelation of Jesus. He refused to believe until he could see it for himself. That’s exactly the point. There are certain revelations, certain faith building moments that are only revealed where two or three are gathered in His name.
We give Life Groups a lot of flexibility. Some are heavily focused on study of the Bible. Others line up around prayer. One group meets to make prayer shawls. The prayer shawl ministry plays an important part in the food pantry ministry. Some around the breaking of bread. But all groups seek spiritual relationships that lead to life.
If you don’t have a LIFE GROUP you’re connected to, explore our groups here, or contact Drew Bontrager, Connections Pastor at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’d love to help you get connected to a group where you share an interest.
Listen to the full message here.
 Matthew 18:20 GWT