As many churches look to reopen its doors for people to come back to worship together in the church building this weekend, I want to share with you some thoughts I have been having.
I realize many people are frustrated. They are tired of being at home. People want things to return to normal, whatever that may look like now. Many individuals want to be able to see their friends and spend time with them. So, when it was announced that the church could reopen its doors to allow individuals and families to worship with others in the same room, people were excited. However, that excitement for some has turned to frustration.
First, let me say, I understand your frustration. I know it has been challenging and different these past couple of months. It has been not easy for pastors and staff, either. We have missed seeing you. I dislike preaching every week to an empty room. When I am finished preaching, I don’t know what to think. I have not seen your face to know if what God has given me to preach has taken root. I don’t get to have conversations with you to understand your struggles or how to pray for you. I finish and pray that what God has given me to preach has made a difference in your life. So, I am excited about people able to join us at church on Sunday. But, yes, I am still frustrated, because it’s not going to be as we want or desire. We must adhere to guidelines with which we may or may not agree. All of these things are being asked of us to help protect each other.
I realize many people may have become cynical about this situation. There are moments that I have been cynical, as well. I want to love on people and preach the Gospel. I don’t want to think of how people maneuver in and out of the building. Yet, for now, we must do what we need to do for people to stay healthy while this virus continues to spread.
So, please let me ask you to join me in doing the following things:
- Continue to pray for our government officials and medical personnel.
- Pray for your church staff; it has been a difficult time for them. We have struggled to navigate how to stay in contact, love on people who are hurting all while learning new technology on the fly to minister to people.
- Pray for patience. Everyone is frustrated. If you have been to a place of business, maybe you have seen people who have been less than patient.
- Remember, God is still in control. This virus did not catch Him off guard. God has not been scrambling like many of us. His plan is still in place for your life and mine. “For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, CSB)