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“Whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

– Jesus (Matthew 12:30).

Am I a gatherer with Christ? Or am I a scatterer with the enemy?

To be sure, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: … a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 5a)

There are times in the life of God’s kingdom and our life when we must be engaged in gathering. Jesus was at a time in his life when evil people opposed him. When there is a fight between good and evil, there is no neutral ground. Not to stand with Christ is to stand with his enemy. So, Jesus makes an uncompromising assertion. “Whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

Once again, we are in this either-or situation. The evil one is active in our world. Covid is one manifestation of the evil one. God’s mercies through the prayer of all God’s people, and our combined global action, have pushed back Covid. But we need to remember there is a long Covid: for individuals and communities.

Covid scatters people who are supposed to be together into individuals, more than any other event in the history of humanity. Classes go online, children stopped visiting grandparents, courting couples cannot meet, and church services go to you rather than you come to church service. This is not God’s design for the regular functioning of the church, and it is not God’s design for your life.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

We have a new Covid fight on our hands, the gathering of scattered people. There is the physical problem of Covid we deal with. But there is more. Covid is the most powerful manifestation of disease in our lifetime. It is against Jesus’ agenda of healing for his kingdom. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against … the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12).

Covid is the killer. Jesus is the healer. Covid is the scatterer, the Holy Spirit is the gatherer. Jesus says in our fight today as in his fight then, “whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

Am I a gatherer with Christ? Or am I a scatterer with the enemy?

-PE 19 Aug 2022

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