This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.Alice Waters
Contrary to public belief, Gathering is not a new decorating trend. Neither is it something that we should dread as depicted in holiday movies and sitcoms, where people avoid family gatherings like the plague. I won’t dismiss that sometimes some of our disfunction may creep in when we gather. However, we cannot negate the importance of a group of people purposefully coming together to celebrate accomplishments, successes, a recovery, or perhaps to mourn, etc.
While researching about gathering in the scriptures, I came across several stories were coming together ushered in miracles. When five thousand people assembled to hear Jesus’ teachings, a miracle of provision took place (Matthew 14). When Lazarus passed away, family and friends gathered to mourn him, but when Jesus showed up, a miracle of resurrection took place (John 11). When the Christ child was born, the event was highlighted by the gathering of shepherds, animals and even a host of angels (Luke 2) providing a miracle of peace and joy through the fulfillment of a long awaited prophecy.
Gathering prepares the atmosphere for the miraculous!
Personally, I believe that gathering is a conduit for strength and encouragement. The aggregation that takes place with loved ones eating, worshipping, and sharing with each other the goodness of God throughout the year, is like fresh water after wondering through a desert. Life is hard and facing it alone can be cruel, which is why I pray that this holiday season is filled with gatherings and celebrations where the only tears we shed are tears of joy and gratefulness; embracing what we have, while hoping for better days ahead.
We have so much to be thankful for…