In Galilee, they met Jesus on a mountaintop. Perhaps this was the same place where Peter, James, and John had seen Jesus transfigured talking with Moses and Elijah, but now, all eleven surviving apostles were there. For a little over a month, they had wrestled with what they had seen. Jesus had been crucified. He died. They were certain of that, but dead men don’t live again. Here on the mountain, they saw Jesus.
It was awesome. It was overwhelming, and Matthew tells us: “When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted” (28:17). Did you notice that last phrase: “some doubted.” Worship, even for the apostles, wasn’t monolithic. Their faith was at different levels. As we worship today, the same is also true. Some believers will revel in their relationship with God. Others are just beginning to experience God’s love, and most of us will fall somewhere between the two extremes. Today, I would like for us to think about the relationship between fellowship and worship.
Yesterday, I asked us to think about what the Lord has done for us individually. His gifts are two-fold: forgiveness – lifting the burden of guilt – and empowerment – the gifts of growth such as hope and contentment. Today, consider what God has done for us, all of us together.
Fellowship is one of the catalysts of worship. My eyes are opened as I see the Lord from your perspective. “I never thought of it that way!” “How did the Father help you through what I am experiencing?” and, most importantly, “You too?”
All too often, we are told to close our eyes and bow our heads when we should be confessing, praying, laughing, crying, and singing together! When Jesus died, Thomas separated himself from the others and missed seeing the resurrected Lord. He was forced to wait a week. Why didn’t Jesus just make a special appearance to him? Because we see Jesus best, we worship best in the company of the committed!