Our reopening has been good, but the outdoor worship was fantastic. It was wonderful to see so many of our church family worshipping together. I do believe Zack was correct when he said that our reopening would be a taste of what it will be like when we all get to heaven. The live stream was well done even from the start and improved each time, I know we all appreciated the hard work that the crew put in each week so that we could stay home and still be connected. However, it wasn’t the same as being there. At first both services were live and you had to be ready when it came on. Ok, show of hands, how many of you were late to church even when it was in your own home? I confess, I was a least once. Then it was recorded and we could watch it anytime we wanted, at that point it seemed like I became more of a consumer than a worshipper. It definitely was nice to just crawl out of bed hit the remote and “go to church” and as soon as it was over I was on to whatever I had up for the day. I’m afraid many of us may have a little difficulty giving that up. Now before I proceed let me say that this disease is still out there so everyone needs to be wise and use commonsense in rejoining our corporate worship. If you have health issues the live stream is an important resource for you, please use it.
The writer of Hebrews addresses the issue of the importance of meeting together in Heb. 10:23-25.
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
It is easier for us to lose our focus on Jesus when we are out on our own and not connected with fellow believers. It is to our advantage to be in contact with those who share our faith. We all have times when we need encouragement in our walk with Jesus. We need someone who will remind us to love one another, do good works, and remind us of the hope we have in Jesus.
Now as great as Michael’s sermons are (and they are an important part of what the writer is talking about), we each have a responsibility to participate in this (in the encouraging and reminding and in being encouraged and reminded). As we come together to worship, we need to be interacting with one another and listening to each other so that we are aware of the needs that are there. Then we will have more ability to encourage and remind each other.
Now this doesn’t have to be limited to nor should it be limited to only in our corporate worship time. That is why we encourage everyone to become a member of a small group or Sunday school class. They are important tools. It is often easier to make those connections in a smaller group. Let me encourage you to make those connections. It is important for your healthy spiritual life and the health of the church. Because without U the CH_RCH just isn’t the same. So when the time comes that you believe it is safe to be out and around, get out of your pajamas and join us as we celebrate the life we have in Jesus.
I love you all. May God bless you richly.