For months, we worshipped completely separate as a church. It was weird, to say the least. For the last few weeks, we've been able to partially gather, and though it's still not normal, it sure has been a wonderful reminder to me of the blessing of corporate worship. God's people, with all our hindrances and challenges, united with one voice to declare his glory and praise. What a sign of the Unity that only the Spirit can give! What a joy that can't be duplicated on our couches!
If you're like me, you get used to a routine pretty quickly, and forget how different it used to be. But as soon as we started gathering as a small percentage of the church, it was very clear - and as that percentage has grown, so has the clarity - I don't ever want to go back to regularly worshipping from my living room with just my family in the room. I want...I need to sing to God with the gathered local church. I know for some of you, it's not wise to join with us quite yet...and we miss you, and we're confident the Lord will meet you and that he's not limited by the circumstance of you having to watch a livestream.
But if you've grown comfortable with "couch church" and aren't limited by circumstances that don't allow you to gather, I want to urge you to come and sing together with God's people this week.
This Sunday, that's what we'll get to do, yet again. We'll join together in declaring, from Psalm 117:1-2:
Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
And then we'll sing as representatives from multiple nations and countless backgrounds. And we'll hear a sermon on the unity that the Spirit brings, and then we'll take Communion together as a reminder that we are united together in Christ. What a joy!
Here are the songs and Scriptures for this week's service: