Services are canceled; meetings are re-scheduled; doors are locked; offerings are not put in the plate; staff works from home; daycare centers and after school programs in some churches will be discontinued until further notice. The list of disruptions goes on and on. These are all inconveniences, some greater than others, but annoying nonetheless. We insulate ourselves with schedules and routines and think we are "on top of things". . . until something goes wrong. As Father David illustrated in his sermon two weeks ago, we have a lot of items and rituals in the church that are lovely and enhance the worship service, but they are not necessary to worship God!
As we look for ways to cope with this health crisis, let us not forget that none of those things referred to above are necessary to worship. What would be a crisis is if we were to lose our ability to find joy in the every day. In the fresh blossoms of spring bursting out all around us. Or, in the song of a bird I had never heard before that sounded like the fan best was going out on my car. Or, in the myriad ways our home bound friends are devising to cope with the sudden home-schooling of their equally shocked children.
Let us not forget that we are the church; not the building, not the programs, not the rituals, but us - you and me. We bring The Light when we check on our friends and neighbors to see if, God forbid, they have run out of toilet paper! We worship when we pause, take a deep breath, and remember that we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us. We worship where we are, to the best of our abilities, alone or with another, when we bow our heads and acknowledge His supremacy and our tiny place in His world.
Life will return to normal, whatever that turns out to look like. All storms eventually run out of rain. While we're waiting, wash your hands, stay home as much as possible, mail in your pledge or offering, eat lots of leafy green vegetables, take a walk, get plenty of sleep, read a book or binge-watch all ten seasons of The Great British Baking Show. (It's amazing what they can do with eggs and flour these days!) We'll all be back together soon.