What is the first thing you’d like to do when the Coronavirus restrictions are lifted? It has been exciting, even if a little scary, to see that life may be inching back towards “normal”. Maybe your job has been classified as “non-essential” and you are desperate to get back to working so you can pay bills. Maybe you miss your family and can’t wait to see them again. This Sunday is Mother’s Day- which may be bitter sweet as so many of us have not seen our mothers in weeks. How about getting together with those good friends that you are missing like your own family? After being caged inside for a couple months now- who wants a vacation? To lay out on the beach and soak in nature? How about something super practical- like simply to get a haircut? Who is ready for church to open up again? Small groups to encourage you to stay faithful to your calling in life. People to praise the Lord with in person. So what are you going to do first?
That is a question I’ve not wanted to dwell upon, because it has been hard see the light at the end of the tunnel. The initial reports of the lethality of the virus were quite morbid, and so it was easier to hope against hope, rather than to allow fragile hope to take root. But now, perhaps, we may permit ourselves to explore our cravings for community once more. If nothing else, this time of quarantine has exposed the basic human yearning for physical companionship. It is teaching us the meaning of freedom and liberty. Sometimes these things need to be temporarily withdrawn for us to appreciate them. Now, I hope we all have a clearer picture of why meeting together as God’s people in God’s building is critically important for our spiritual and emotional well-being.
Interestingly enough, our situation closely parallels that of the psalmist in Psalm 42. Here we see a picture of one who was forcibly removed from worship in the temple in Jerusalem, who felt cut off from God and fellow man. We will explore his story in this famous psalm and bridge its context to our time of COVID-19 today. I hope you are able to tune in this Sunday. We’ll be looking at the deepest universal longing of human existence, and just as importantly- how this thirst can be quenched.
We may change formats soon- moving towards a limited audience with live streaming. Let’s take advantage of at least one last opportunity for all of us, all around the city, state, and world, to interact and engage during our worship time together.
God bless you. Have a great weekend, stay safe, and I can’t wait to connect with you this Sunday!
-Pastor Nathan Rice