Pastoral Ponderings – 05/01/2022
After more than two years of battling against the Covid Pandemic and all of the falllout from same, the church is back in full operation and things seem almost back to “normal.” People are seen smiling in church, laughter is heard and seen, and attendance is beginning to pick up. As people’s fear levels drop, of course, the resumption of regular worship activity seems to increase.
For many who look forward to and depend spiritually upon the Sunday service time, that special time in church was for us the hour of power. It was the hour each week that grounded us in the worship phase of our faith. It was the center of our Sunday, the foundation of our weekend routine, and the beginning of the week ahead. The one simple hour in church seems to make a real difference. Perhaps it is the camaraderie, the fellowship, the mere presence of others who believe similarly – whatever it is – it brings to each of us a special connection with each other and as a result, with Christ as well. We are called to care for each other and when we gather together in church we find it much easier to share that caring attitude toward those closest to us. When we take the step of committing our time to attend church to worship together, we similarly commit ourselves to the precepts of Jesus’ teachings.
I have often commented that from the pulpit I can see people pull into the parking lot and watch as they walk from their cars to the sanctuary. An amazing transformation takes place on that short journey from car to pew. People take on an entirely fresh demeanor, smiles overtake grimaces, and thoughts of others overtake self concern. Attitudes change on that special trek into the church and it is a miracle to behold. Yes, my friends, let us not diminish the power of presence in church.
Zoom has served us well and there are times when that is the only option for joining in. And we are so pleased to be able to include our Zoom worshippers. But nothing, absolutely nothing can replace YOUR presence in the sanctuary and the vital role you play in our church worship. We truly play together, pray together and Sundays we worship together. Let us never trivialize our promise made to each other whenever we are together on Sundays. It is a sacred time to be treasured. It is a speical time WE spend together with the Lord. Let us resolve to continue to join together each Sunday to continue our special tradition and to maintain our hour of power!
Minister Lance Smith