Welcome to the first edition of the Pandemic Post. Not since 1918 has such a thing been contemplated! But needs must, and in an effort to provide information and promote connection during this period of lockdown, I am grateful to the MOBC Office for collating and distributing this new monthly communique.
In my phone conversations with some of you I have been joking about the text I would choose to preach on if I were still Senior Pastor of MOBC when the lockdown ends. Psalm 122, verse 1 says, ‘I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord”’ and I have always appreciated the Psalmist’s enthusiasm. I have long enjoyed attending both MOBC’s Sunday services and those of other churches I have visited while on leave. Nevertheless, the prospect of ‘going to church’ for the first time after social distancing measures are relaxed has taken on a whole new appeal, and I am looking forward to it more than ever.
It goes without saying that the Church is the Lord’s people and not the Lord’s House, but in the words of Rick Warren, ‘we were created for community’ and there are vital spiritual benefits that accrue to those who meet together regularly. Here, I think, is why the writer of Hebrews said, ‘do not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing’. He knew that there is real value in Christian fellowship, and in congregational prayer and praise, and in listening to live Bible teaching.
So, let us look forward to the time when we can meet together again. And, until that time comes, let us make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit by praying for one another, calling or texting one another, joining in Growth Group Zooms, connecting on Facebook (especially during Facebook Live) and participating in the online Sunday services.