Like me, you may be missing the Church these days. The Coronavirus epidemic has shut down our church, RCC, along with many other churches. For the undetermined future (let’s say, two weeks to two months or longer) we will not be GOING TO CHURCH or to meetings or other gatherings at the church.
BUT THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US ALL TO BE THE CHURCH. Although we cannot currently meet together for worship or prayer or to catch up with and bless one another, we can still be what we are called to be—people who worship God, people who pray, people who share the Good News of Jesus, people who care about one another’s welfare and the welfare of all those around us in our community.
As some of you may know, I have been battling illness for about two weeks–a cold, a cough, and general aches and pains. A week ago, I went to the doctor and when they discovered that Mary and I had visited Seattle a month ago, I was sent to the emergency room and spent the next 30 hours in an isolation room in ICU, because they were concerned that I might have the coronavirus. Blood tests revealed that I did NOT have Coved19, but that I did have pneumonia. I have been at home since then and have been getting better every day—but still not fully recovered.
As you know I make home visits and hospital visits almost every week; many of you do likewise. It’s hard for me to stay at home, knowing of members who would appreciate and be blessed by a visit, but it is not wise for me nor good for them to make such visits these days. Most likely, even if you are feeling 100% healthy, it is not wise for you to be doing that either. Simply put, at present most of us cannot DO CHURCH or DO CHURCH W0RK the way we normally do. But we can still BE THE CHURCH.
We can still reach out to one another in our Church and in our community, to those who are ill, to those who are home-bound, to those who are alone. Not in person, but through the various forms of electronic communication that God has made available to us in this generation. Emails, texts, phone calls, as well as Facebook, etc. are all available for our use and most of those who are sick or homebound have access to one or more of those. Email someone, call someone, text someone—or even be old-fashioned, and send a card, a greeting through snail mail.
I’m not suggesting that each of us make a long list of those we know and contact all of them. But as someone you know, someone who may be in need, someone you especially care about comes to mind, take a few moments to reach out to them electronically.
AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, PRAY. I do not claim to know our Lord’s purpose in allowing this pandemic to strike our community, our nation and our world at this time. But I do know that a part of His purpose is always to draw closer us to HIM and to EACH OTHER. Paradoxically, the current restrictions on meeting together CAN have the effect of drawing us closer together, closer to God—and closer to all those around us (whether or not they share our faith.)
PRAY for one another, Reach Out to one another electronically. Let us use this time to BE THE CHURCH where we are!