Spotlight 7/2022: New dimensions of togetherness

How can we be close to someone without being together? Opening new horizons for our annual motto “Together in Christ”. A new perspective from District Apostle John Kriel of South Africa.

In the Church in our area we had what was called “fellowship”. This would mean getting together after a formal church event for informal contact. Sometimes this would be accompanied by a cup of tea and other refreshments. It gave congregants the opportunity of being together and enjoying each others’ company in a relaxed atmosphere.

The young people had their own version of this, which they called G2G. This was the young people’s language for getting together. The objective of these meetings was also to gather together in an informal setting to share each others’ company.

Then came Covid, and this could no longer happen! For quite some time we had to do without this physical togetherness and mostly experienced it as a sad loss. We made adjustments and stayed in contact with one another by various creative methods, but it just did not seem the same.

Now for 2022 we received the motto “Together in Christ”.

In pondering this I was prompted by the thought: Is the Lord not urging us to redefine our perspective of togetherness? Is this not an opportunity to broaden this concept into new dimensions?

Being together does not only have a physical aspect. I know of many families who have been scattered all over the world and yet remain together. They remain connected to each other in spirit and are united by their love. Sadly, there are some families who have family members living in the same neighbourhood, but for them there is no togetherness.

Our loved ones from yonder world are also together with us despite them not being physically present. For me, this has a very personal element: How often have I not felt the nearness of my mother in times when I needed consolation or understanding. And this despite the fact that she passed away more than thirty years ago!

Above all, Christ is at the centre of our togetherness. But, as yet, we cannot see Him! He, however, promised that He will be with us till the end of the age (Matthew 28: 20). Throughout the changing times He has remained true to this promise. Through experience we can testify to the truth in His words: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18: 20).

Let us embrace the new dimensions of our togetherness!

Photo: Oliver Rütten

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John Leslie Kriel
District Apostle, motto, Together in Christ