Matthew 18:19-20 “Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
Of these two verses, the second one is probably better known. You might be familiar with a variation of it (not spoken by Jesus): “Where two Lutherans gather, expect at least three opinions.”
For me, however, the two verses work together to define critical mass for Christians. “Critical mass” as a physics term means the minimum amount of radioactive material needed to sustain a nuclear reaction under specific conditions, whether the reaction is an explosion or the continuing creation of heat for power generation. More generally, “critical mass” can mean the minimum number of people or combination of people and materials needed to accomplish a goal.
In these two verses Jesus defines a spiritual critical mass as God plus two or three believers. For me, it’s true: being with other Christians creates sustainable power to hear God’s word, discern God’s will, and make the personal choices that that help to bring God’s reign into my everyday life. Speaking, listening, caring, accepting care, forgiving, being forgiven—these experiences intensify when I am with others, and even more so if I am with other believers. When I weaken, God provides strength through others. Two or three believers plus God: it’s a dependable combination.
Prayer: Sustaining God, help us to share your power with each other so that together we can help sustain your presence in our world. Amen.