One gift from God, seen more clearly as we age, regards the connections we make with other believers. These connections are based in the Kingdom of God and accordingly have spiritual and eternal significance. It could be true in a broader sphere, but in my experience connections between believers can go far deeper than social or community relations. Looking back at the friendships that have endured apart from ongoing contacts were associated with a mutual faith in Yeshua.
There were two friends who took a journey to Emmaus the day after the death of Yeshua. “As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’ They explained in brief everything that had happened to Yeshua including reports of His resurrection and added, ‘but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.’ He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” They urged him to stay and eat with them. “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.” They immediately returned to the gathered disciples and gave their astonishing report. “While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ ” (Luke 24: 13-36).
This is included in scripture for many reasons, but I think it illustrates the power of two friends and their mutual faith in Yeshua. As a believer, you will encounter Yeshua in your gathering with believers. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.(Matthew 18: 20). It doesn’t require a sermon, the taking of an offering, or two hymns to constitute a gathering in His name – it only requires a mutual expression of live faith. Corrie ten Boom and her sister, Betsie, were sent to the Nazi death camp, Ravensbruck, for helping save Jews from Nazi slaughter. In the movie and book, “The Hiding Place”, she describes the great faith and fellowship she and her sister had in the midst of this unspeakable horror. After her release, which she later discovered was due to a clerical error which saved her from certain execution, she traveled the globe telling of God’s mercy, grace, love, and forgiveness. The point is that Yeshua was there in the death camp with these two women of faith. He is with you and your friends who yearn for and follow Him. He was with me and my two peers from work as we called out to Him in prayer.
The two friends in scripture observed, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24: 32). These times in the presence of Yeshua and the Holy Spirit will burn our hearts with such love, grace and revelation that we are changed and will never forget it. Even though the cares of this life and other responsibilities may consume our attention, these spiritual encounters endure. Bonds are forged between Believers and the world envies and tries to mimic these ‘family’ ties, but it cannot. It is a great encouragement to reconnect with believers with whom we have shared such fellowship. If you’re young, seek out other believers who are as hungry for God as you and when Yeshua shows up do as Mary, the mother of Yeshua, did, “She treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2: 19, 51). If you are older, remember those who walked the pilgrims road with you and reconnect when you can. Take the opportunity to share what the Spirit of God did among you and give all glory and praise to Father God Almighty.