Never to be Forsaken

By Reverend J. Loren Russell

Hebrews 10:24-25 ‭(NKJV) ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.’”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

These words were penned by poet John Donne, a 17th century Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and considered one of England’s greatest poets. A little research revealed that these words were not from one of his famous poems, but from one of his sermons. It is, by far, the most famous words of any of his writings.

Priya Parker was quoted at, from her book, The Art of Gathering; “We gather to solve problems we can’t solve on our own. We gather to celebrate, to mourn, and to mark transitions. We gather to make decisions. We gather because we need one another. We gather to show strength. We gather to honor and acknowledge. We gather to build companies and schools and neighborhood. We gather to welcome, and we gather to say goodbye.”

I would go even farther and say that humans can’t exist without gathering or assembling themselves. Granted, we all have times when we crave and seek solitude, but humanity was created to be in the company of other human beings. John Donne was right, “No man is an island.”

In the faith community, assembling is critical for spiritual enrichment. In assembly, we strengthen and provoke one another to love and to do good works. We sing praises to God, engage in corporate worship, and listen to and experience the message of God through the preached word.

All of that was challenged during the COVID pandemic. Face-to-face meetings were not possible. We soon discovered technologies that allowed us to assemble even when we could not physically meet face-to-face. We learned to have a worship experience and spend time with one another without being in the same physical space.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that we are interconnected by a spirit of mutuality and “tied to a single garment of destiny.” We have discovered that it doesn’t matter if it’s in person or virtual, assembling ourselves does not ever have to be forsaken.

Long before any virtual inventions, Dr. King understood the interconnected structure of humanity. He was quoted to have said, “whatever effects one directly affects all indirectly.” He then went on to quote the latter part of Donne’s sermon and said, “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Because the need to assemble ourselves is a part of our human makeup, when the cry goes out to assemble, especially for the people of faith, we are obliged to be in that assembly. Assembling ourselves together is never to be forsaken, and with the God-given gift of modern technology, it never has to!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of the Evangelical Church of God, both in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company/J Loren R Consulting, LLC for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096) and is the producer and host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to ‘Friend’ the Matters of Faith YouTube Channel. Email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The eBook at

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