This past weekend, hundreds of churches opened their doors and invited their people back. My church was one of those. Normally, my church has two worship services and two Sunday School hours on Sunday morning. We chose to re-establish worship first and continue our groups via digital format, in homes. We offered 4 different worship times. I chose the Saturday night service.
To be honest, driving to church that night, I was anxious. My apprehension was both selfish and congregational. Who would show up? Would they be wearing a mask, like me? Would I be the only one wearing one? Will people follow the guidelines of social distancing? How have the staff and church leaders prepared for this regathering? Will it be safe?
I was blown away, in a good way, not bad. Walking up to the building, I was still anxious, until I started seeing people wearing a mask, like me. Then, I began to recognize people behind those masks. Everyone was waving and excited to see one another. The staff and volunteer leaders did a great job of preparing the church. Greeters were stationed throughout the process from entry to seating to exiting. The church was cleaner than I had ever seen it. I literally touched nothing except my seat. There was an intentional process for how people would arrive, where they would enter, where they would sit, and how they would exit.
After finding my seat, waving at people and getting ready for worship, I was still anxious. Would this be like it used to be? Well, no it wasn’t. People were spread out wearing masks. BUT, once the service started and we began singing, it was incredible. I felt the Spirit of God moving and working. I sensed God was there, in the middle of it all. I WORSHIPPED. It felt so good to be with God’s people, worshipping Almighty God, together, in the same place and at the same time. It felt like “coming home again.”
I hope you experienced the same thing. It was good to be in the house of the Lord. It was good to once again be with my church family. COVID 19 did not take anything away. If anything, things are so much better. We are getting used to a “new normal.” It will not always be this way. One day, I’ll be able to shake hands, hug necks and pat people on the shoulder or back, again. And oh, what a great day that will be.
Until then, don’t be anxious. Place all your cares upon HIM. Go back to church. Nobody can make you, but, you’ll be glad you did.