I have noticed that the times I feel most connected to God are also the times I feel most connected to other people.
Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another... I have heard this scripture used many times to explain why it is so important for people to go to church. And while I agree that this verse can mean that, I'm not sure that's really the heart of what is being said.
Let's be honest. A person could easily attend church without ever really meeting with any other believers. Sure, they're all in the same room, singing the same songs, listening to the same sermon. But the real question is, are they meeting with each other? Are they connecting, are they conversing, are they sharing their lives, are they encouraging each other and being encouraged?
I think I feel more connected to God when I am more connected to people because God made us this way. We are made to need connection with others, to desire and pursue relationship and community. And that connection, the meeting together that happens within community, that is what should not be neglected.
Does that happen within the confines of the church walls on Sunday morning? Well, sure, it can, and I hope it does. But it happens elsewhere too, whenever we are connecting with each other and pursuing authentic relationships. There is no doubt that a relationship with God is important, but honest relationships with other believers are also vital. Let's be sure we do not neglect one while pursuing the other; they go hand in hand.