I went on a walk yesterday morning during the 11 o’clock hour. It was strange to be walking around the neighborhood at a time when we would’ve been in worship. I began second-guessing our decision to cancel the services. I hope that absence from worship makes the heart grow fonder, but sometimes it seems to just make the habit of missing more engrained.
Worship is good for us. It’s good for us to do something for God – we worship God because God is worth it. It’s good for us to connect with God and worship is a dedicated event designed and led for that purpose. It’s good for us to gather with fellow members of the body of Christ, the Christian family. Worship gives us that opportunity. And, it’s good for us to be reminded of what it means to be Jesus’ followers.
As I walked I came across a couple from our church who, since they couldn’t be in church were out being church. They had grown weary of social media posts about the city taking too long to clean out storm drains and realized that was something they could do. Like the Body of Christ, a community is something we’re part of, not something that operates for us. As people with healthy bodies, a rake, and a shovel, they were able to remove debris from storm drains and help reduce ponding water. I was glad I saw them. It motivated me to clean out a storm drain and it reminded me that while we need to be in church for the reasons listed above, one of the good results is that when we’re not in church we can still be church, that’s what Jesus’ followers do.
I trust you’re doing okay today. Florence, for the most part, was spared devastation. If you need some assistance, however, please let us know. If you don’t, you know others do. The worst of the flooding is yet to come. Continue to pray, but also consider giving financially. Maybe a good way to look at it is the think about the money you might have spent evacuating this storm, but didn’t have to. Could you give a portion of that to assist those who will be dealing with the storm’s aftermath for some time? If you want to give through Central, note the gift is for UMCOR and we’ll contribute the money to their efforts to help. They have already awarded our Annual Conference a $10,000 emergency grant to get relief support in motion.
I am grateful to be part of a church family that wants to be in church and wants to be the church.