Covid-19 vs Sunday Morning

I hate this. I hate that I can’t see my congregation. I hate that I can’t share the Word of God with them in person. I hate that singles won’t have fellowship and the elderly won’t be surrounded by hyperactive children. I hate that communion won’t be served. I hate that the collective voices of God’s people, imperfect as they are, won’t be lifted up together in praise. This is a hateful morning for me.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. We are not called to enjoy the trials as trials. We are not bound to called evil good (much less good evil!) We are not to pretend that life is easy when it is hard, or missed joys are pleasant when they are painful.

But we are called upon to count them as joy for the fruit they produce. We are to reckon for good, especially when we cannot feel as a pleasure. We are to trust the good hand of our God, who works all things for good to those who know Him, love Him, and trust Him. We are to look for ways to become like Christ. We are to be steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. We are living in the pain and hope of the Psalms.

So instead of driving to church at 8:30, I was uploading a youtube video. Instead of making sure that lights were on and the audio equipment was ready to go in the sanctuary, I was trying to figure out the lighting in my office so there wouldn’t be weird shadows from my glasses (FYI…fail). And instead of looking into the faces of those I pastor to see signs of attention, understanding, joy, or pain, I spent the morning trying not to stutter, cluck, sigh, or make any other vocal anomaly that would distract from the video (do I always make these weird sounds or is just when I’m recording myself?!?!)

Perhaps above all, I am faced now with my own lack of faith in the power of prayer. Like attempting my first bench-press in 20 years, my lack of discipline has been exposed. Training that should have taken place during times of peace would yield a battle-front ready soldier. But I find myself unprepared, humbled that I must learn on the battle-field the lessons which others know. And rightly so.

This is the work of the ministry right now. It is pleasing to God – a sweet offering rising up to Him from His children. This is the work of God in my life. And it is good.

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