I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord!!” (Psalm 122)
This post is another installment in my endeavor to keep us as a congregation connected during this season of “social distancing”. Needless to say, we are unable to go into the house of the Lord for fear of exchanging the virus that is sweeping through our community and world. Our leaders from the President on down are encouraging us to self- isolate as much as possible, and this precludes corporate worship and all other church activities. As much as we might think the virus hasn’t impacted us directly, it’s proving to be bad, and it is wise to heed their warnings. We will forgo public worship and other gathered church activities until we are given the “all clear”.
My fear is what this isolation will do to us. There is the rare hermit who actually prefers to be alone, but most of us don’t fit into that category. Having been made in the image of God, we are social creatures and we find ourselves needing each other. If that is true for human beings at large, how much more for the church. My concern is for the potential depression and despondency that will result from the isolation.
So, what can we do? Fortunately, we are not limited to calling to one another across the pasture. We are blessed in our day and age with the modern conveniences of telephones and computers (despite our impatience with such things under normal conditions). And I’m glad many of you are making use of them to keep in touch with one another. But I want to remind you that there are those in both our church and our community who may not be as apt to be on the receiving end of our attention. Please keep them in mind, because they might be the ones at most risk of emotional isolation.
Many of you are not able to work for the time being. Parents, what a wonderful time to read with the kids, or perhaps work on a project together. Or maybe you have some project in the house or the yard you’ve always wanted to find the time for. My daughter informed me that there was a long line at the paint counter in Home Depot the other day. I hope they were maintaining the six-foot separation rule. Actually, I painted my kitchen on Tuesday, something I have been wanting to get to for several years.
As important as these things are, what an opportunity for us to spend more unhurried time reading the Bible and good biblically oriented books. Charleen and I finished reading D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ book, Spiritual Depression, recently and have started Safe and Sound by David Powlison on spiritual warfare. It seems like a gift to be able to sit over an extra cup of coffee and talk about what we read together and pray without the pressure of having to meet a deadline. Perhaps you can share with the rest of us what you are reading. Exercise is always beneficial, and on warm days why not take a walk.
Lastly, we look forward to the day when we can say with the Psalmist, I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord!!” Who knows, perhaps it will be resurrection Sunday!