What a year for church and COVID-19. When COVID shut-down first happened in March, our church did shut down.
We watched the Easter Service on our patio. I discovered that it is too difficult for me to sing along with a live-stream. Emotionally, I *need* to hear the voices of the saints around me and watching on TV is too much like the performance-based concert method of "worship".
-By the way, what Phil and I are calling the "COVID series" of sermons (March shut down) were some of the best sermons that I've heard *EVER* If I have readers, use the contact form and I'll send you the link.-
Our elders took the decision, shortly after Easter, that we would follow Biblical instructions and begin meeting in person. We typically have Sunday School, a main service, lunch together and then a second (afternoon) service and all are different.
The elders wanted to stay as close to the State mandates as they could, while still obeying God. There would be no Sunday School, no lunch, and no afternoon service. We would have two identical services, one is the Sunday School time slot and one in the regular time slot. The congregation was divided in half by alphabet and assigned to a service and the rows of seats were either pink or yellow. One service sat in yellow rows, the other in pink rows. Mask were a matter of conscience.
A couple of months ago, it was announced that we were going back to the regular schedule and so we did. It was good.
Then, this latest "surge" - we noticed it in the prayer requests, and kept pace with the general public. Near the beginning of November, Phil and I decided that due to travel and visitors here, that we should stay at home until this all sorted itself out. Dismay is a good word for our feelings as we watched the daily numbers.
The elders, in wisdom, put a hold on the afternoon service and lunch - and the congregation sits in every-other row.
Spiritually, we need the body of believers. We need to join together in worshiping God. To that end, we are wavering on the "stay at home" - at least for church. I'm not going to the gym, classes, studies.
We may wear masks (although that won't protect us). COVID doesn't have an expiration date and our spiritual lives are more important that our physical lives. Eternity over the temporal.
I want to go to church. Is it fear or wisdom that would keep me away? What emotion would keep me from wearing a mask?