Be the church.
Our family rented a cabin in the Ozarks this summer. It was glorious. Social distancing? Not a problem. We were seven miles north of a town with a population of less than 400 people. We were surrounded by woods. And you needed four-wheel drive to even think about making it up the hill we were perched on. In fact, the night we arrived, the kids screamed the whole way to the top, just to keep my confidence in check, I suppose. With every harsh bump and slip of the wheel, their screams grew louder. Every bear in the county knew that the Hamilton’s had arrived.
It’s good to get away.
It’s also good to come home.
Do you remember when this pandemic began back in March? There was speculation that we would all be back to normal sometime in June. Then it was July. Then it was by the time school starts. And now, we’ve stopped guessing. What began as a nice pause from daily routines has morphed into a prolonged exercise in keeping our distance.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to come home. I’m ready, and yet, I also understand that there is no way to put a schedule to the return of whatever normal may look like. I also know that we are paying a price too high to count by remaining in isolation.
We need each other.
We need community.
We need the church. I love Eugene Peterson’s translation of Hebrews 10: 22-25 So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
Does it take creativity to continue to be the church in these days? Absolutely. And it’s worth it. If you are weary, as I am, of the feelings of isolation and disconnection, let’s do something about it together. This is the perfect time to join a group! We are beginning new virtual small groups this summer. The beauty of virtual, is that it doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter the condition of your living room. If you have an internet connection, you’re there. You need this. We need you. The Church needs you. Let us hear your voice and see your face as you make new connections and reestablish old ones.
There is a sign-up form included in the e-news this week. I’d love to see your name. Let’s be creative together, church. Let us continue to encourage love and help one another, not avoiding worship, but spurring one another on. The big Day is approaching. Let’s fill the in- between time with joy! I’ll see you on-line…