"Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20
A Christian congregation has great power. As bearer of the Office of the Keys it has the power to retain and forgive sins, as Jesus says, “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven” (Matthew 18:18). The members of the church exercise this power as they follow the three steps of brotherly and sisterly admonition which Jesus outlines in Matthew 18:15-17.
But how large must a congregation be to have the power of the Keys? Must it be housed in a cathedral-size edifice and served by a high-ranking clergyman? Must it have a hundred, five hundred, or a thousand members? Is it required that it be organized into a legal corporation recognized by the state?
None of this is necessary. Our Lord does not condition the church’s power on large numbers. In fact, as He goes on to speak of Christians coming together for prayer and for fellowship in His name, He uses the words “two or three.” Then He ascribes to so small a group the highest honor possible: “There am I with them.”
What a promise! When Christians assemble to fulfill the purposes for which Christ’s church exists – to praise the God of their salvation and serve Him, to hear His Word and administer the sacraments, to instruct young and old in Christ’s teachings, to admonish and exhort one another, to share the Gospel with the unchurched – Christ is in their midst.
Whether God’s people worship in a little white church on the prairie or in an inner-city storefront building, Jesus is there. It is important that you and I be there, too.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being with us as we join together to worship – in a large group or in a small group of two or three. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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