As I was thinking about what I would write this week, my thoughts wandered to our present situation. It has now been almost two months since we were able to worship together in our sanctuary. It is easy to feel that God is not near in times like this. We depend on our time together each week, offering praise and thanksgiving together. There Is something about that time together that makes us aware of God’s presence.
One of our Bishops, Woody White, shared how he learned the difference between going to church and having church. Going to church is just something that you do. You show up on Sunday morning and spend an hour in the building we call our church. Having church is much more. You prepare all week for that time together. You have prayed, read scripture, and spent time thinking about worshiping together. All of this makes us aware of the presence of God.
I wrote the above words one year ago. I never dreamed that today we would still be dealing with the effects of this virus. We have made some progress, but our worship is still very much constrained. The task force that Bishop Lewis appointed to lead us through this time gave an update this past week. One of the members of this task force suggested that as we look forward to more progress that we begin to think of this as a new church plant. In other words, a blank slate. Think of it as Main Street United Methodist Church 2.0. I like that idea. A new start, new things, new experiences.
I invite you to take some of the time you have now to prepare to worship God. Also take some time to think about what new thing you would like to try. Plan to have church.
Oh God, thank you for drawing close in our time of need. Amen.
Always, to God be the glory!