Page 3 - July 2020 - Truth & Tidings
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’m thankful for technology and the  posted recorded audio messages to supply
            people who know how to use it. I never  at least some spiritual nourishment. Many
        Iwould’ve dreamed I’d be preaching  of us Zoomed in to see and visit with fellow
        from my study with the doors closed and  believers and to watch online preaching for
        the kids trying to keep as quiet as possible.  a bit of spiritual nutrition. The criticism of
        Nor did I ever think I would be able to see  any of these forms of feeding seems a bit
        and speak with everyone in the assembly  harsh and unfair to elders doing their best
        from the comfort of our basement couch.  to obey the exhortation to feed and care
        I have great appreciation and respect for  for the flock. My soul has been refreshed
        those who have worked earnestly and with  often, enjoying the spiritual food provided
        good motives to use technology to help the  by my brothers in Christ during these
        Lord’s people during unprecedented times.  difficult days.
        But even with reliable connection speeds,   But I have to admit, I’m all Zoomed
        we all still feel quite unconnected.   out, and I suspect many of you are also.
          As assembly shepherds scrambled to  The plummeting number of attendees to
        provide food for the flock during the  many of our online events is proof enough
        global pandemic, the options were few  that there’s nothing like the real thing. A
        and less than perfect. But the command to  Zoom meeting is not an assembly meeting,
        elders in Scripture still holds: “The elders  nor can it ever be. And even though every
        which are among you I exhort … Feed the  person in the assembly might be logged
        flock of God” (1Pe 5:1-2 KJV; see also Act  in, there will always be one Person who is
        20:28). Sheep won’t last long without food,  not. That’s not to say that the Lord didn’t
        and certainly not for months on end. And  or won’t provide spiritual food through
        Peter’s exhortation (which he received from  such technological means, especially under
        the Lord in John 21) doesn’t include a 90-  extenuating circumstances. But we need
        day exemption for pestilence.        to honestly recognize that a congregation
          Therefore, many shepherds have used  in cyberspace is a far cry from the real
        the technology available in our day to  thing. The joy and blessing of physically
        attempt to fill a definite void. After all,  gathering as an assembly cannot be
        even though it’s hard to virtually shepherd,  replicated in any virtual format.
        it’s quite easy for the devil to virtually   So as the doors of our meeting places reopen,
        destroy. Care for the flock is critical. Some  let’s resolve to be found together with the
        shepherds have sent emails, providing  Lord’s people as we once were, and be content
        food in the form of written ministry to  to consider online gatherings a memory
        believers within the assembly. Others have  belonging to troublesome times.

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