March 15, 2020. That was the first Sunday that COVID-19 caused us to not gather as a congregation. This Sunday, July 11, is our regathering, reopening, and restarting of our in-person worship services. Though we've been meeting with restrictions, we are now free of them and can return to a new "normal." That means we will still clean and sanitize everything, still live stream our services, and those that feel comfortable with masks can continue to use them.
The past 16 months of worshiping with all the restrictions has caused me to think about worship. We seem to be settling in to a new way of doing worship. Yet, on the other hand, I have a desire to return to pre-COVID worship.
I've learned several things about our worship services. First, I had taken for granted in-person gatherings. I've never been prevented from gathering to worship with others. Yet, during these past months I've to realize how much I enjoy worshiping with you. Secondly, I miss being able to sing congregationally. There is just something about a multitude of voices singing praises to God that just lifts my soul. May we continue that with fervor in the coming days. Lastly, I really missed being able to shake a hand of a fellow believer. Though it may be awhile before handshakes return, just being present is a great step forward.
Above all, I have learned that I need to pray more that our church's worship would be so God-honoring and powerful that we all can sense the very presence of God Himself in our midst. For those watching our live stream on Facebook, I pray that you too sense His presence.
As Psalm 100:4 says, let us "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name."
To Him Be the Glory!