Today will be a very strange day for many Christians in the United States and around the world.
The present distress of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused many churches to temporarily cancel all public gatherings. This includes Bible classes and Sunday worship. This post is not about the pros and cons of churches and Shepherds making that decision. It’s about the reality.
So, what can a Christian do when your local congregation is closed?
1. Remember that worship is a verb. It’s something that you do. And you can worship at home. In fact, it’s possible to attend a place of worship and never worship. Worship has always been more about the people than a place.
2. Don’t take the day off from worshiping God. The stress of this current crisis may cause some to simply relax. Do yard work. Catch up on some home projects. Or engage in family recreation. Whatever you do, pause with your family and take time to worship God.
3. You can listen to an on-line sermon from so many sources today. Some churches are even live streaming their services.
4. Pray with and for your family. Pray for strength. Courage. And God’s protective care. Pray for the sick and suffering. Pray our decisions of our leaders. For first-responders And health care workers. Pray for your Shepherds. Preacher. And the members of your local congregation.
5. Sing praises to God. If you don’t have a song book, you probably know some songs by memory. Put on a CD and listen to praise songs. Or go on-line and listen and sing along. Sing some children’s songs your kids know from their Bible classes.
6. If you’re still working and earned an income this week, set aside what you’ve prospered and determine to give it when public worship services resume. Even though the building may be closed today, the expenses and needs of the church family continue. In fact, they may increase due to benevolent needs of those who’ve lost their jobs.
7. Read Scripture together. Look up passages that offer hope, encouragement and comfort in times of distress. In Friday’s post, we offered several passages that will encourage you.
8. Talk about your feelings in an age appropriate way with your children. Listen to their concerns. Offer them hope. And together reaffirm your trust in God.
9. Connect with other Christians. Call, face-time, text or email. But keep in touch with your brethren. See how they’re dong.
10. Look for opportunities to serve. Is there a friend, neighbor, brother or sister who is sick? Shut-in? Elderly? They may need some groceries or medicine. Be aware and willing to serve the needs of others.
These are unusual, unprecedented and uncharted times. But we will get through this. Together.
As God told Joshua when he faced a fearful foe, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh 1;9)
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman