Malachi 3:16 – Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. (NIV)
Think of the people you worship with each Sunday. How many of them do you know by name? How many do you pray for regularly? Do you know anything of their real concerns? I wonder if our fear of or awkwardness with each other drives out the proper fear or reverence for the Lord of which Malachi speaks.
Methodist churches used to have "class meetings", small groups where the members got to know each other and were accountable to each other. Many churches are recovering the joy and the challenge of getting to know each other in small groups. And there is a special joy when we meet face-to-face with Christians from other backgrounds. Let us each set ourselves a target to pray for and get to know perhaps two people from our own church and one from another church in the district.
Prayer: Lord, when we go to church next, help us to see people's faces and not just the backs of their heads. Lead us into a quality of fellowship that is more than a smile and a greeting. As we talk with each other, may you listen and hear, in your mercy. Amen.