“Things are changing rapidly. Just this morning the Governor of Maryland implemented a ban on public gatherings of 50 people or more that will be in place for the next 8 weeks. (That is through the middle of May!)” That was the opening line of my email to all group leaders at our church 363 days ago. Back then I thought 8 weeks was a long period. Shows how much I knew!! Almost one year later and I still feel uncertain about what next week may hold in regards to what restrictions will be in place or new research will show.
Little did I know then, how important two truths would be for us in this past year. The foundation of God’s unchanging character and rule partnered with our mission of growing spiritual in community. I am convinced spiritual growth does not happen in isolation. It cannot happen in isolation. That is why church as a corporate gathering is so important. The gathering of God’s people to hear God’s Word and celebrate God’s goodness is not a nicety for our growth in Christ, it is essential. That is why we must think and determine, each one of us, what conditions need to be met and when we will return to the corporate worship gathering of the church.
If your rationale for staying away from your church family hasn’t been carefully defined, you run the risk of never returning to church.Craig Thompson
Many have good reasons to avoid exploring out into public spaces: being in the more vulnerable category, not having received the vaccine yet, or a fear of spreading it to others whom you love and care for who are more vulnerable. But Craig Thompson gives a good challenge for us all to think about when he asks, “What is Keeping You From Church?“. He does a good job of balancing the reality of our current health situation and the importance of being together with other believers regularly for worship.
While I know this is a touchy situation and everyone has varying, strong opinions I thought the article to be a needed charge to consider. What did you appreciate about it? Where do you think Mr. Thompson’s article is lacking? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!