"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." (Acts 2:42)
Our tradition holds that the Church began at Pentecost. Pentecost, also called the Feast of Weeks, occurred 50 days after Passover, was a harvest feast where the Jews offered to the Lord the first fruits of the new grain harvest. During this celebration, after Christ’s resurrection and ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the 120 disciples waiting and praying the Upper Room. Here, Peter preached the first Gospel message and about 3000 celebrants accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah.
What is very interesting on that day was the fact there was no ordained requirement to gather, no voice from heaven, and no one return to the Pentecostal celebration. Instead these new converts willingly remained with the apostles and as scripture writes: they devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles, fellowship, and prayer. They hungered for New Testament truth and they intentionally took on a new identity and new circle of companions.
The transformative power of the Holy Spirit draws his people together for worship, study, and fellowship. It is not in the natural mind to worship the Lord faithfully and corporately. This only happens because of conversion. True Churches, true Christians, can be readily identify as those gathering for worship and adhering to the teachings of the apostles.
CHCH spells nothing unless UR there. (CHURCH) Let us all gather together this Sunday.
--E.C. Malone 01/09/15