After 12 weeks of not meeting together on Sunday morning for worship, the Church I lead met for the first time yesterday. Our time together was a little different than usual. We did not have children’s worship the first week, chairs were set up for social distancing, there was no formal greeting time, and communion and offering were at stations. Despite all the ways our Church meeting was different in many ways, it was the same.
There were two things I noticed yesterday about our time together. First, I was not expecting the amount of joy that came from being together with believers again. It is like that first cold drink of water after a period of working in the hot sun. The break made everything feel new. The conversations, familiar face, kind voices, along with the sound of people singing together, filled my soul. Worshipping together is about a community of people praising God together, and yet, it is also a blessing to those who attend.
Second, I noticed how much I still miss the little things. I miss the firm handshake of a brother in Christ. My wife said she missed giving a warm hug to a sister in Jesus who is struggling. Talking with other Christians over a warm cup of coffee or some form of food was absent. The connection that usually comes is still not quite there, but I am filled with joy, knowing we are heading back to the place where we once were blessed.
Overall, I am not sure words can completely express all that I felt yesterday. It was nervousness with putting together a program as I am a person who stresses each week. It was fear over the lingering effects of the virus. It was joy over seeing old friends face to face. It was a joy as the songs filled the air with worship.
I love the local Church, and I am glad to be meeting again. I pray that with time everyone will come back to join us again. It is good to be with people of like faith.