Feelings of isolation are causing problems for many during the global pandemic we are living through. For many, what has made this especially painful is the suspension of large, in-person gatherings in churches.
Yes, it is true that scripture tells us to gather together.
“19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” –—Matthew, 18:19-20 The Bible, King James Version
“24 and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” —Hebrews 10:24-25 The Bible. King James Version
I believe that COVID-19 is a time to reconnect to ourselves, to the Spirit, and to begin making real connections with a few people. Instead of fighting to get back to what we see as “normal,” lets stop and get real. Is there more to life, God and church than we have been experiencing?
If you have been feeling lonely, isolated and depressed because your church is “closed,” have you tried to reach out to anyone? Have you called your small group leader, prayer ministry or even the person who usually sits next to you? Have you called the church office to see what kind of helping ministries may be going on and how you can get involved? Have you considered calling an older member to see how they are doing? Church buildings may be closed, but the true church never closes.
We have been given this time apart to dive deep into the Spirit which lives within us. Connecting with that spirit is an experience that cannot be put into words, but we must be alone and not distracted to connect in this way.
Does the busyness of the holiday season get you down? Does the busyness of church holiday programs, services and activities add to that? Does all that activity wear you down and make you just wish it would all be over? This is your chance to rethink the celebration of Christmas and the way we do church in general as well as at the holidays.
Christmas is not a one time a year event. It should not be something we dread or just want to be over. When we celebrate the Presence of the Christ within. We are celebrating Christmas in our daily lives.
The church is not the building, the number of people in attendance, the music or even a skilled speaker. The true church is the Spirit within each of us joining together in support and service. I am the church. You are the church. We are the church together.