WEDNESDAY WONDERING May 6, 2020
The church is closed, right? Not by a longshot. The building is closed. There are many things we are used to doing which we cannot do the way we used to do them. I thought about that this morning when I didn’t have to get up at 5:30 to make it to the men’s bible study group that until a few weeks ago had been part of my life since 1981.
I was reminded of that again when I did get to the church as the building and grounds volunteers where gearing up for some yard work. I am usually there before them on Wednesdays. First time back for them, I think they were happy to show up and take care of some needed projects, all with appropriate social distancing.
But I was reminded in a conversation later in the morning that we need to be careful how we think and speak. Yes, the church building is closed, with some critical exceptions. Yes, we still have no idea when and how we will be holding in-person worship services again. The guidelines for doing so safely are daunting. One person in the conversation said, “Well, I think it ought to be when the hospitals and nursing homes allow unrestricted visiting.” And when might that be? Ever again? We have a lot of work to do to figure out how to manage the transition “back” to normal. And a lot of thinking about what the new normal might be.
But the church is NOT closed. Your staff continue to work, from home, and by coming in to their offices as needed. Thank God for the gift of technology. As one of my siblings said in a video conference we had that included not just separate states, but separate continents, “Think how different it would have been if this had happened even five years ago!”
So let us remember the church is not a building or a place. The church is people, you and I and our neighbors. We are having to think about new ways of “being church” and “doing church” – who knows where that will lead. It will bring change. And yes, I know, not all change is progress. BUT our faith tells us that we WILL figure it out, because God is up to something, and in the midst of that God is present with us.
Grace and peace to you all…