We’re weeks into the lock-down and I’m still having trouble getting used to “slumming on Sundays.” You know, parking the family around the computer for worship and breakfast? I guess it’s okay if you like hanging out in your pj’s, but that’s just not my deal.
Don’t misunderstand, I’m thankful for our technology. At the moment it’s God’s gift to carry us through a difficult time and to keep us feeding on the Word and in worship.
Normally on Sunday mornings, my family, like many of yours, is scrambling to get ready for church. Bathroom, clothes, food, car. . . in that order. If I’m not out the door long before the family wakes up, I’m seriously late.
So yes, there are real conveniences to “slumming on Sundays.” It actually feels like a true day of rest. I love that I can take a walk with my wife. And as long as we’re being transparent, I really like sleeping in on Sundays. Shhh, don’t tell the Elders.
AN UNEASY QUESTION
But all of this poses a question. What if no one comes back to church after the lock-down is lifted? What if everyone decides that ‘livestream” is better than the real thing?
The answer to that question is a resounding, “Christians will physically come back to church after C-19!” I base that answer squarely on the role and purposes of the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit in His church.
How can we be so sure? Because every Christian has been given the Holy Spirit of God (Rom. 8:9; 12:13), Who pushes us toward one another in love (Rom. 15:30). There is a longing for togetherness that the Spirit gives to us Christians. The Holy Spirit places each of us in the church with a special gifting and deep desire to benefit our fellow Christians (1 Cor. 12:18). Many of these gifts cannot function to their full capacity unless in person. The Spirit loves the church! As Christians are filled with the Spirit, they also will love the church.
Listen to what blogger Tim Challies says:
I am not concerned that committed Christians will reject actual church for cyber-church anymore than I’m concerned that committed spouses will reject face-to-face time in favor of FaceTime . . . A camera and screen will do when necessary, but they are at best a shadow of the real thing. They may provoke gratitude in those times they are the only option, but they will also provoke longing.tIM CHALLIES
So, dear church family, keep longing to be together. Let the Spirit do His good work in you during these weeks. Let Him stir a thirst within you for His church physically gathered.
No screen can ever replace what we have together.
Praying For A Gathering Soon,