It’s Sunday – a day I would normally be sitting in a church pew alongside my husband, daughter and granddaughter. It’s been a time away from the physical contact we used to enjoy. We’re now confined to our homes. Yes, we still have access to daily Bible study. We can see videos of our pastor as he preaches his sermons. We can even listen to the beautiful hymns and sing along with them. In fact we have an abundance of those things. I am receiving Bible studies from old and new churches, my synod organization, fellow Christians with words of encouragement and even had the chance to share time on Zoom with some of our church friends.
Still in this time of social distancing there is so much missing. We no longer have the ability to hug each other, to share joys and sadness with a physical touch or to encourage each other with face to face contact. Zoom is nice, but it’s not the same as being there.
Another thing that’s missing is taking part in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. This beautiful rite is a reminder of our need to confess our sins daily, repent, taste God’s perfect love, His forgiveness and our ultimate salvation. I really miss the Lord’s Supper.
As we are coming to the end of the Lenten season and soon will ponder on Jesus Passion, it seems impossible to not be worshipping corporately with fellow believers. Sure the church is just a building, but it’s much more. It’s a gathering – a joining – a celebratory time – a time to encourage, enrich and focus on God’s Word.
When I was a little girl, my mom played a game with us. She’d have us fold our hands with our fingers folding inward. The two pointer fingers would come together and point up. She then would recite this little poem – See the church and see the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people. You’ve probably played that game too. Now when we fold our hands, we do so normally. When the doors are open, there are no people, but God is still there. He’s with us in our isolation also.
This time of aloneness will be over soon. I pray it will be sooner rather than later, but even though we’re apart, we’re joined by a loving God who will get us through this. Once more we’ll be able to hug. We’ll be able to laugh and cry together. We’ll sing together and praise Him through our hymns and prayers. We’ll lift our hands in praise and know that we’re together in all things, even when we’re apart. Until then, let’s thank God on this Sabbath day, for his consistency in an ever changing world.