What I Read This Morning;
Titus 2; John 17; Isaiah 55-56; Psalm 85; Deuteronomy 33-34
Isaiah 55:6-12, “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” NRSV
The past few weeks have been a bit surreal. Suddenly, the worship services that were always there on Sunday were gone. I haven’t seen many of the friends that I saw each and every week in a while now.
I think we take for granted our ability to move about and worship as we see fit. We take for granted the idea that church will always be there and that we can pick and choose what weeks we go. We skip that Bible study so we can head to an early lunch. We skip Communion Sunday because we don’t want to be at church an extra 15 minutes.
Then suddenly, in the twinkle of an eye, our ability to walk into our church building is taken away.
As Isaiah says, we don’t understand the mind of God. I am not one of those who think that God is punishing us for our sinful society. However, maybe God is reminding us that the church isn’t about a building. It’s about Jesus. Perhaps God is gently telling us, get back into the Word of God. Maybe it’s time the church rethink how it reaches out to people. Perhaps the idea of small groups will come back into vogue. Perhaps we’ll embrace the idea of using technology to reach those who can’t make it on Sunday. Maybe instead of having those Bible Studies in the comfort of our church, we’ll take them out to the local McDonalds and thank the employees for their hard work. There are so many ways we can step outside of the church and into the lives of real people. Maybe, we will get back to focusing on that.
I hope that when we all walk back into the church after this ends, and it will end, that maybe we’ll worship a little deeper. Perhaps we’ll pray a little harder. Perhaps we’ll listen a bit longer.