It’s Saturday. If things were normal, I’d be slaving away on tomorrow’s sermon, trying to remember why I chose that title, and wondering if you all would really like that hymn (some will, some won’t, that’s life).
But things aren’t normal. There’s a run on yeast at the grocery store, and the woman behind me in line is wearing fetching purple plastic gloves and a matching mask. And there will be no public worship tomorrow.
Yet, we know that worshipping together honors God and is good for us. We need that time together. The reading from Ephesians for tomorrow says “Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” Isn’t that true? And then the author goes on: “. . . be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (from Ephesians 5:8-14)
But we can’t gather at our church, we say. Here’s the thing: while we can’t go to our church, we can go to church. We can go on-line, watching the pastors at the Old South Church in Boston, attending their worship service, maybe seeing Katherine Schofield, as if we are all on a field trip to our Boston home. And afterwards, we have the satisfaction of having gone as a group, even though we are separated by circumstance. You can close your eyes and see Hazel Taber sitting up there on the right… and isn’t that Margaret Wood over nearer the wall? Afterwards, send an email to someone to talk about the music or the sermon, to reinforce that sense that we really were all there.
Last week, after Old South’s service was over, I decided to explore different services, and ended up attending about five of them – all on-line, each different. I’m not suggesting you do that, though it was fun to hear all the different music. But you might take advantage of the numbers of churches which are doing this, and see what appeals to you. If you’re interested, but want some suggestions, let me know and I’ll pass along some web addresses.
In the meantime, at 9:55 tomorrow – just a little early to hear the prelude, I’ll be in front of my computer, tuned to www.oldsouth.org, ready to worship God, with you all as my companions. Hope to see you there!
Blessings, Pastor Virginia