Is participating in church worship services via the media the same as the real gathering of Christian people? One of the striking songs that point to the gathering of God’s people or what the scripture regards as “the assembling of ourselves together” is Psalms 134: ‘Come bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD! Lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the LORD’, which is one of the 15 songs of degrees or songs of accents found in the


Bible. More than half of these songs are filled with hope. The children of Israel as a nation could not and still cannot stop singing this psalm as they go along in their spiritual and physical journey towards the millennium. It’s no surprise at all, that the song also resonates in another nation, “the church”— a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a HOLY NATION…!

 

The word degree simply means “a journey to a higher place”. The song has two counsel: ‘bless the Lord all ye servants’ and ‘lift up your hands in the sanctuary’. The Scripture teaches that you have two houses— Your house and the house of God; and that is why we have been advised to know how to conduct ourselves in the house of God which is the church of the living God, the pillar and the ground of truth (I Tim 3:15). So make no mistake about the elevated position of the church— the house of God which is the body of Christ. The church is not just on that screen; it is not on the television. These are all elements that energize us to glorify God and a proof in these times, that The Lord wants us to fellowship with Him in every situation and condition, even when we find ourselves incapable of being part a physical gathering or joining a group of people in obedience to God’s commands regarding His church. So the church is the house, but the screen is not the house.

God is jealous over his house or over the gathering of his people. One declaration is that ‘God presides in His great assembly (Ps 82:1). In other words,, ‘He takes stand in His own congregation—’  So as long as our feet are on the earth, the physical gathering of God’s people, that small gathering of people in a room or that enclosure where the Word is taught with much assurance and people come together to worship or fellowship, is crucial.

Enjoy all the teachings and worship on the screen as much as you can BUT remember that in this media age, where there is a growing range of choices for the screen over the physical house of God,  the total obedience or our being part of a local assembly or church will glorify God. Do not be caught up in the contest: The Church versus s the Screen. Enjoy the power of the media and also get involved in the worship activities of a local assembly as the church matches on.

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