Attending a large event might change you in a surprising way. After interacting with more than 1,200 people at multiday gatherings in the UK and US, researcher Daniel Yudkin and his colleagues learned that large festivals can impact our moral compass and even affect our willingness to share resources with others. Their research found that 63 percent of attendees had a “transformative” experience at the festival that also left them feeling more connected to humanity and more generous toward friends, family, and even complete strangers.
When we gather with others to worship God, however, we can experience more than merely the social “transformation” of a secular festival; we commune with God Himself. God’s people undoubtedly experienced that connection to Him when they gathered in Jerusalem in ancient times for their sacred festivals throughout the year. They traveled—without modern conveniences—to be present at the temple three times a year for “the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles” (Deuteronomy 16:16). These gatherings were times of solemn remembrance, worship, and rejoicing “before the Lord” with family, servants, foreigners, and others (v. 11).
Let’s gather with others for worship to help one another to continue to enjoy Him and trust in His faithfulness.