Our scripture this morning is Romans‬ ‭1:8-12‬.

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.”

Paul begins his letter to the Christians in Rome with thanks to God for their faith and his desire to share that faith together. This is something we have likely missed over the last two years as well, the gathering of the faithful separated due to the pandemic. Being together as the body of Christ is important to our spiritual well-being.

Jesus modeled a prayer life that included quiet time alone with God, but most of His life and ministry was with people, spending time in small groups for discussion and large groups for teaching. We were created for relationship with God and each other, and this exchange is essential for our growth in faith.

Paul longed to be in personal contact with the family of believers in Rome instead of just writing to them. If you have been separated from family, friends and church due to the infection, consider ways you can safely begin to be part of the gathering again. While our technology has helped us stay in touch, nothing beats face to face human contact. God wants us all to be together!

Heavenly Father, thank You for making us to be connected, with You and our brothers and sisters. Bless us to strengthen our faith and to share it in love with all the world. Amen.

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