Of Church and COVID-19

As everyone everywhere has been affected in one way or another by COVID-19, it makes one aware of the many things we took for granted! One of those for me was Church. We love our church and church family, but having had that privilege of going to church taken away, it was extra special to meet together yesterday! (Sunday)

March 15 was our last church service. Nebraska never issued a stay at home order, but it was encouraged. Also, groups were not to be larger than 10 people. So our church decided to do in home services, meeting in small groups. While that was better than not meeting at all through those 8 weeks, it still was not like real Church! In this respect, going to church yesterday was a treat! I had to think of the verse in Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.

Our church- Providence Mennonite Church

But how important is church to us on a regular basis, when we can go every Sunday, year after year? Does it still bring gladness to our hearts to go into the house of the Lord? It certainly should! Do we realize how important it is to our spiritual well being, to be part of a Biblical body of believers? How quickly we would be more apt to cool off and lose our fervor for God, if we did not have our brothers and sisters in Christ to help us along! Hebrews 10: 24, 25 says, And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the day approaching. Also, the discipline it takes to study our Sunday School lessons and especially if we need to teach! Or for the men who need to prepare for devotions or the ministry as they study for messages. We are such weak, needy people in our earthly bodies. If we just coast along, we’ll soon coast right into an eternal destiny where we do not want to be!

We are still under some restrictions. We needed to comply with the 6 feet social distancing, no passing of the offering basket and such. The basket was conveniently placed on a chair where we filed past to enter the auditorium. We sat together in families, using every other bench. We could not have Sunday School, but someone had a children’s class. And then there was a devotional by our deacon and the message by our bishop. He preached a message on Mothers, since it was Mother’s Day. Afterwards, we were advised to file outside to visit if we wanted to do so. Outside it was easier to respect the distancing, plus safer with the abundance of fresh air! It was a sunny day, but chilly with a strong breeze! It was so good to worship collectively and to see everyone again!

Sometimes God takes things away from us so to teach us more important things of life…

How has your Church life been? Have you been able to start having services again? I hope so, but more than that, I hope your Spiritual life has blossomed even through the quarantine days. Perhaps God took social life away from us to shake us out of our normalcy, so that we focus on Him! We can find our satisfaction in Him, even when our whole lives were/are topsy-turvy! God hasn’t changed- oh wondrous thought! and He was not taken by surprise when everything shut down. God is always available and open. He will never “shut down!”

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3: 17, 18

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