This pastoral passage was written for LRBC for May 31 2020, on the occasion of groups of up to 100 being allowed to meet together under the Covid-19 Lockdown restrictions.
This Sunday will be the first time our church has gathered together since March 15. That’s eleven Sundays ago. The time has come when we may reopen the doors of our churches and sit again on each other’s couches, and return to face-to-face fellowship. Online Zoom meetings were very good to have had, but I for one am glad to be meeting in person again.
There are a few questions I think we should ask ourselves as we begin meeting together again.
- First, What did we retain by meeting through Zoom?
- Second, what did we lose by not meeting in person?
- Third, what must we recover? These are my thoughts:
1st. We have been blessed to be able to keep connection with each other in a way that allowed us to interact, rather than simply watching a church ‘show’ (I must say I found it very difficult with young children though!). I have been pleasantly surprised that most of our regular people have joined in every week too. It would be easy not to be missed.
2nd. What we lost, however, was the ease and depth of interaction that allows fuller fellowship to really develop and continue. It is likely some of us allowed the lack of routine to be our reason to opt out of staying connected.
3rd. This will be a time to re-establish connections, including with those who haven’t shown up today. The Lockdown will have been a season of reinforcing those atomistic and non-committal traits of modern culture that undermine healthy community. We must remind ourselves and each other that we each belong to the body of Christ, and so must be a part of a Christian community.
At the same time, as we return to normal life we might find ourselves reconsidering how many things we need to be committed to. If you are doing this, please ensure that you make the most of what you do continue in. It is important to remain a part of church community.
Make sure you are connected with other Christians (if safe for you; and not just your natural friends and family who happen to be believers), and make sure you are both getting and giving spiritual encouragement to those that you connect with.