Bill at “NT/History Blog” has written an excellent post called “Walking Distance Ecclesiology.” He says that the cities of the first century (Thessalonica, even Rome and Jerusalem) were small enough (about 1 square mile) that people could easily walk anywhere within the city within a few minutes. This means that the early Christians were easily accessible to one another. And, that’s a good thing. Why?
This is what Bill says:
But the first Christians weren’t just accessible to one another, they were necessary. They needed each other. They no longer fit well with anyone in their towns apart from one another. For knowing Christ, THEY were all that THEY had. Each new Christian found in Jesus Christ had to also find out that their Lord was inside their new siblings as well. Thus, if they needed Him, then they needed each other.
Think about that… the early Christians needed each other and they KNEW they needed each other. Has that changed? Yeah, I think so… and so does Bill. He ends with this very true and very heartbreaking statement:
We so desperately need that [togetherness and relying on one another]. Most of us just don’t know how badly.
So… how can we help believers understand how much they need one another, and how much they’re missing if they don’t spend time with one another?