Monday, August 17, 2020

What I MISS About Church during the Pandemic...and A Few Things I DON'T!!

Forsake not the assembling of yourselves...
(Hebrews 10:25)
My church gradually opened up to attendees this past month and so far it's been going well! 
 It's still a bit strange for some. We have strict regimens in place, and although it's God's House, safety still comes first.  I'm so grateful to our leadership for that mindset!

The Attendees Feedback So Far?  lt has been a GREAT worship experience! 

I'm still worshiping from home via Live Stream, Zoom, Teleconferences, YouTube and any other means I can find to keep me connected to God's Word, fellowship and the prayer support of mature saints.  All are needed to ensure my continuous spiritual growth (Acts 2:42)

My Personal Feedback? It has been a GREAT worship experience! 

So, why is my faith being questioned because I'm not holding down a pew, six feet apart, masked up, waving to fellow parishioners across the sanctuary, one hour a week?  No one comes right out and says this, but we all know Church Folks are Masters of Innuendos! 


Church Folks not Christians, mind you, are the ones I'm referring don't get your panties in a must make the distinction. We all know that just because you go to church doesn't mean you believe or live out the Word that is taught there! (James 1:22)

I do miss fellowshipping with Mature Christians, but Church Folks?  Not so much!  Those are the ones who say: Please, please pray for ALL those who are STILL TOO AFRAID of the virus to come back to church!  OR, God is SOVEREIGN, if you're going to catch COVID-19, you might as well get it at church!  OR, the preacher and choir (both who have been faithfully ministering every Sunday for years, even on Sundays you thought nothing about missing) has NEVER PREACHED or PRAISED like this before!!! 

The use of excessive superlatives to describe the church service wasn't really meant to glorify God but ignite F.O.M.O. (Fear of missing out) in non-attendees.  If you sincerely miss traditional worship or feel a bit left out this my friend doesn't help. You could easily begin to experience false guilt for a decision you had every right to make for yourself.

There are two passages of scriptures that I'd like to share with True Christians, Church Folks, or Anyone who may be going through a faith attack during this Pandemic.  You're  probably familiar with both of them but a closer look may be helpful:

And let us consider one another in order to stir up
love and good works, not forsaking the assembling
of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but
exhorting one another, and so much the more as you
 see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Quoted often but usually out of context, the above scripture's emphasis is not so much about church attendance but falling away from a faith in Jesus Christ alone.  In this case, Jewish believers tempted to go back to Judaism because they thought the practices i.e., animal sacrifices, keeping rituals and the Mosaic law were essential to their salvation!

If anyone believes that a church service will save your soul or keep you holy, there's a bit more bible studying that needs to be done.  Preferably during the week before Sunday.  Yes, the church provides strength, accountability, and training through the Word of God but the great work of faith is done in your personal, private, and public life. (2 Peter 3:18)

Another point worth mentioning is the admonition to Christians to do three things whether in the church or not: (a) Stir up love; (b) do good works;  (c) exhort or encourage other Christians.  I don't know about your church but I've seen these three acts displayed consistently, even before the Pandemic.  Brothers and sisters outside the walls of the building, putting in the sweat equity of love to help others and glorify God in service! 

The third part of the verse speaks of encouraging other saints!   During this Pandemic when attending church services at my church, fellowshipping is prohibited once the service is over!  No time to meet and greet or have a casual conversation with a fellow saint. This again is a precautionary measure.  A team cleans and sanitizes between services to assure parishioners who come next have the confidence they need to enjoy their time of praise and worship.

No fellowshipping is allowed on the church grounds, but what a great time to call, FaceTime, send cards, drop off lunch or groceries to those still sheltering-in-place.  A quick chat with face mask on and social distancing in the open air, on a porch or in a driveway can be both safe and up lifting.  And don't  forget to pray before leaving!  God hears and answers virtual prayers every day, any where! 

The book of Romans, chapter 14 is another passage that bears a second look when the temptation comes to judge another Christians's faith:

Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own
master he stands or falls.  Indeed, he will be made 
to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
One person esteems one day above another, another
esteems every day alike.  Let each be fully convinced
in his own mind. (Romans 14: 4-5)

When, where, and how a Christian honors God in worship is a matter of conscience and sincerity of the heart.  The Lord alone determines what is acceptable and believe me if it is not pleasing, righteous, or in order, The Holy Spirit will let you know.  

One of the things that I don't miss about Sunday church service is the time wasted on deciding what to wear!  I was raised like many of you to look your best when going to the Lord's house. Not necessarily fashionable, but clean, pressed and with clothes that are modest and fit well.  So, I admit, I care how I look and don't just throw anything on! 

Now that I'm worshipping at home I can be a bit more casual, and I have to admit if not careful will get too casual (I'm working on that!) But in my mind, I'm still in the Lord's presence and act and dress accordingly! Still, there are some things that I don't miss while staying home. 

I don't miss Church Folks mean mugging me, when I accidentally sit in their preferred seat at a different service!  Or use their purse, bible, coat and/or children to save a pew seat for  family and friends who are late every Sunday! 

I don't miss the distraction of undisciplined children and adults who talk, text, and check their email during praise and prayer!  I know it's so because with a quick glance you can see it!  When did bible apps start using emoji's ???

I don't miss going up for Altar prayer, and holding the hand of someone who squeezes too tight when praying, talks so loud you can't hear the preacher leading, and almost asphyxiates me with too much cologne or perfume. 

I do miss pausing at the pew of some sweet senior saint before service, letting them know how well they look and showing them love with a hug or encouraging word in person.  I miss shaking the hands of the deacons or my pastor after service. 

 I miss the testimonies in Wednesday bible class and the thought provoking questions asked, that cause me to think deeply on God's Word and help me learn from those who have been victorious in their trials. And stopping by the church secretary's desk on my way out for a piece of candy and a quick chat. 

 I miss my Sunday school ladies, hugging them, playfully teasing them, and hearing what they have been up to since the last time I saw them.  I miss taking their prayer requests and making visuals to use when teaching God's Word and watching their faces, when the Holy Spirit gives them an Ah-hah moment!

I don't miss the morning traffic and trying to find a place to park at church, where my car will be safe from the dings and dents of careless church goer's late and rushing to worship! 

Everybody keeps talking about the New Normal!  This might be it!  So what is the Lord telling us about worship now and in the days to come?  I think perhaps He's saying something akin to what He said to the Woman at the Well when she said:  

Our fathers worshipped on this mountain and you
Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where 
you ought to worship.
Jesus said to her, "woman, believe me the hour
is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor 
in Jerusalem worship the Father....
But the hour is coming and now is, when true worshippers
will worship the Father in spirit  and truth; for the
Father is seeking such to worship Him. 
(John 4: 21 and 4:23)

It's time to put away all the false ritualist ideas and traditions that confine us to a church building and focus on doing the work of Him that has sent us (John 9:4). This you can do wherever you are!  Together Apart as that COVID-19 hash tag says,  we can build God's kingdom and worship Him confidently in Spirit and in Truth!


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  1. Thank you Sis. Carolyn. I appreciate how eloquently you wrote what you said. We all have our reasons on why we worship they way we do,in the church building or in our homes. It's all about worshiping God. We cannot and should not judge another person for staying home and worship on Facebook or livestream. I see good, bad and ugly in both... IT'S A PERSONAL CHOICE. THANK YOU AGAIN, May God continue to bless you.. oh and I do miss you💜

  2. Thank you! Pray God teach us great and mighty things during this Pandemic. I know it’s a wake-up call for me! 😘

  3. Thank you for sharing and with the word of GOD to back it all up. The Holy spirit spoke to and thru you my sister soldier. God bless you

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  5. Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. georgia church builders