During the Coronavirus pandemic, life changed.
As we sheltered at home, our entertainment and social devices became our link to friends, churches, and the world. The internet became the conduit to a quasi fellowship of faith. We connected to one another via flat screens, microphones, and speakers.
Online worship, the new abnormal, became our link to faith-family worship. We gathered around our screens and logged in to watch and listen. Faith families (churches) transformed into a small group of friends. Churches reached out via live streaming and offered a new version of worship that required more imagination and intent than ever before. Members and non-members tuned in to a version of worship they could pause, rewind, or watch later.
Long have we proclaimed the creed that the "church is the people, not the building," yet we kept pouring our resources into brick and mortar rather than people’s souls. The virus challenged our values and stripped bare our worship rituals.
Stripping away the trappings of modern worship, we explored and implemented a new style of worship so narrowly God-centered that crowds, drums, and orchestras weren’t needed. As beautiful as the pipe organ is that resonates to our bones, we had to dig into the memories of our hearts and minds and awaken our souls to the opportunity of rediscovering worship.
This pandemic afforded us an opportunity similar to Israel's captivity in a strange land. The pandemic taunted us, asking, "How will you worship in these times?"
We must respond with hope and a loud united voice that God is sovereign and nothing separates us from His love. We must sing our songs of hope and praise from our windows and balconies. Our worship must echo in the halls of our hospitals. God's message of good news must emerge from the despair and helplessness we feel.
How will you sing the Lord's song in a strange land?
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