Every Saturday morning some of the men from my church gather together for a men’s community group and men’s breakfast. This morning’s breakfast was homemade sausage patties, scrambled eggs and burnt toast with enough jam to cover the burnt part; with yours truly as “head” cook. Yes, I do take credit for the burnt toast. I was attempting to utilize the oven for toasting purposes but it seems I could use some additional experience in such matters.
However, the food is not the topic of today. Our discussion was revolving around the a section of Hebrews that discusses “access” to God. Someone brought up Matthew 18:20 which states “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst”. The question then posed was “why is it with TWO or more that Christ will be present?” We know that Christ is accessible when we are alone, and in fact it is incredibly encouraged (and should be) to seek Christ’s presence in our alone time. So why would Christ even state that he will be there if two or three are gathered? It seems obvious that he would be there, but is he saying anything besides the obvious?
One thought I had on this matter during this morning discussion includes the drastically different way we as individuals – or at least men, but I presume women are similar – act when we are alone versus when we are in a group of two or more. When we are in a group of at least two, we ‘activate’ the social aspect of our nature. Meaning, we generally don’t have inner dialogs (unless we are prepping something to say or thinking of a response to the ongoing social situation) and instead focus on the relationship and social gathering. Focus is on people, conversations and external things.
When individuals are alone however, we turn inwards away from social activities; often having inner dialogs, – which does include talking to yourself for some, you know who you are! – private thoughts and processing inquiries and questions we have. This is all good, healthy and necessary to proper human function and growth. During these times though, I often find it incredibly difficult to maintain the social presence of God; whether it’s trying to talk or pray to Him. I realized that one of the reasons it is so dang difficult, is because I am by myself (physically speaking). I have turned off the social aspect of my nature and am attempting to have an inner dialog with another person (Christ), who by his very nature is also a social being (think of the Trinity here). For Christ, it’s gotta be akin to having an awkward conversation with someone at a party who seems to have difficulty being in a social situation.
So why is it that when two or three are gathered, Christ will be there? Because Christ is a social person, and when people have gathered and are being “sociable”, Christ wants to be there and to be part of our conversations. Like a good friend He wants to be with us when we are sociable, looking for company or amongst friends; but I also think he will leave us alone when we need or want it; when we aren’t being sociable and need time to mediate on who we are, who he is, or other things. And also, like a good friend (or a good parent) he is more than willing to interrupt our quiet time if we need a good kick in the rear!
Maybe this puts Christ in too “human-like” terms, and I am undoubtable misrepresenting Christ in some regards. But one of the best parts of Christ is that he was, and is a Human. That makes him completely relatable! What do you think? Am I on the right track here or am I totally off base?
I don’t think Christ minds when we become “unsocial” and lose ourselves in our work, meditations, or thoughts. He wants us to grow, and will be there to guide and affirm our path.