I really do miss seeing my church family on Sunday morning. I have always told folks that my favorite day of the week is Sunday. I love our time together. I love greeting members as they walk into the building. I’ve been a foyer greeter for well over twenty years and I love it! I love smiles, handshakes, pats on each others backs, and most of all, all those hugs from brothers and sisters who are just as glad to see me as I am them. When you love people, you can’t wait to see them, and every Sunday morning I get to do that! And then, we get to enjoy our togetherness through singing, praying, studying God’s Word, communing together, and just lingering around so that we can visit and love one another. I’ll say it again, I love our time together. The sharing and caring and reconnecting is the highlight of my week, and I don’t understand why it isn’t that way for everybody. I thank God for His plan to give us a spiritual family where we can grow in love, support each other, and help one another with any need that may arise. He wants us to be together. It’s what the very first followers of Christ did both naturally and from spiritual guidance by the apostles. Togetherness is a major tool from God that He gave for a very obvious and simple reason. We learn to love Him by learning to love one another. That is what John made clear in his first letter! Read chapter four and see it for yourself. Togetherness is not a ritual, a form, a ceremony, or formality. It’s God’s people getting together and growing in love for one another and for Him.
Is there a point to this or am I just restating things I’ve been preaching for decades? My point is simple. As we talk about when and how to return to meeting together again – after all this stay-at-home and avoid the virus stuff is over – let’s make sure we can truly be together! If we have to have a boat-load of restrictions, separations, and distancing, not to mention a huge list of sanitizing and purifying measures, before we can be together, we may be checking the list of “Going To Church” but are we really being together? If we have to worry about risks and the resurgence of the Corona Virus, and need guards to exclude, remind, and enforce regulations, will we really be communing with one another? Will there really be any fellowship from a distance with masks and hands in pockets? Maybe some, and maybe at some point it will be worth it, but don’t mistake proximity with togetherness. I want to be back together as much or more than any member of our church family, but I want it to be true togetherness, and if that means we have to wait a while longer, it will be worth it. Everyone will have to make their own choices about when they are comfortable coming back, and everyone’s ideas and fears are different. Please be in prayer for our shepherds to make the best decisions about when and how to come back together as a church family. Personally, I can’t wait…but I will.