FROM THE PASTOR
on return to worship
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
Now, there is a context to this verse of course which I won’t expand on here. And it goes without saying, we simply have not been in the “habit” of meeting together for obvious reasons, but since we haven’t been at worship for so long, and we are creatures of habit, there is the temptation to “fall away” and stop going to Church. We can certainly get in the habit of online worship at home. In the comfort of your surrounds. Think about it:
How easy is it for us to stay and worship online at home?
How convenient to worship when and how you like?
How comfortable is worship at home? Very comfortable. Quiet. No distractions. I can record, and even livestreaming, I can pause, rewind, then come back. I can not only worship when and how, but also what time! I can control what to listen to and what not to listen to. I can most certainly listen to a preacher, teacher, who agrees with me, and could drive me to be even more convinced about something, even if it may not be true. What’s more, I can sit down and stand up when I want to, even put my feet up, and have a cup of tea in my comfortable chair. While there are some advantages of worshipping online, I spare a thought for those who I see worshipping at Bethlehem in Adelaide, here I am in my recliner, while they are seated in those cold, hard, timber pews.
As Christians gather in the body, physically present, we celebrate the physical presence of Jesus in Holy Communion. We celebrate Christ’s presence; not his absence. It’s not the same with online worship, is it? God is incarnate, in a human being; in the flesh of Jesus. We are isolated enough. We are in fact separated enough, and perhaps God has worked in us, such a desire that the sheer isolation that we have experienced for so long, will want us to get up out of our homes and drive us to worship again. Let us not give up meeting together, at a time, in a place, as someone said, “in the old-fashioned way” we know as church. What can we expect on Return to Worship? To be a Christian and receive grace; to worship Christ in his presence, and with each other.
May God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless your heartfelt sentiment, your heartfelt desire, your gospel mindset, and your outward bodily action to offer yourself as living worship. May God strengthen you and continue to bless you with an attitude to love and serve because God first loved and continues to serve us. Faithfully.
We Pray For:
† The church, that it continues to treasure and proclaim the gospel as God’s life-giving good news, that it continually praises God for his greatness and mercy, and prays for all to hear this amazing message.
† The church and its mission to the lost in the local community, to specific groups (e.g. blind, deaf, youth, elderly, disabled, young mums, sports groups), and abroad.
† Our governments and healthcare agencies, that they may find ways to resolve the divisions in our community which have been caused by the pandemic.