It’s Rally Time!
“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’” (Ps 122:1)
September was always a happy and exciting time in the church of my childhood. On “Rally Day”, we moved up to new classrooms and new materials. Other ministries would also experience new energy and excitement following the summer slump. Sometimes, a new ministry would begin in September which would bring new joy and excitement to the entire church. Can the Holy Spirit rally the Church this September, like He did in the past?
I have read numerous articles bemoaning the state of the Church during this pandemic. Attendance at worship ser-vices has dropped significantly across denominations and across America. Some people have stopped attending due to health and safety concerns. Others have simply found it more convenient to stay at home and watch worship on a screen. They have fallen out of the habit of going to the house of the Lord on Sunday morning. The faith relationship, like so many other relationships in this day and time, has become highly individualized. This is NOT what God intended for His Church. The God who exists in community as Father, Son and Holy Spirit has called us into community with Him and other people.
In his book, “Life Together” Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that Christian community is not an ideal that we strive for but rather a divine reality (p.26). At our baptism, the name of the Triune God was placed on us. We became not only a child of God, but also a member of the Christian Church on earth. God has placed us into community. The question remains, how will we live in this community?
This is a challenge for the Christian community. While we are all “in this together”, we are told to remain socially distant. The good news is that God is never distant from us. He remains in our hearts and in our midst. You can celebrate your “communion” with God and His church anytime and any-where by reading the Scriptures which God inspired and singing the hymns of the Church. You can connect with your brothers and sisters in Christ through the formal prayers of the Psalter, the Lord’s Prayer, and intercessory prayer. You can use your God-given gifts and talents in service to the Church. Perhaps you will be led to start a home-based Bible study for 4-6 people or invite a few friends over to worship online together. Maybe the Holy Spirit will inspire you to celebrate community in a brand new way!
Our congregational President, Chuck Anderson, has written a wonderful article in this newsletter describing some of the exciting things happening in our church. He also suggests several ways you can be actively connected to our community. If you want to become more closely connected, but aren’t sure how, talk to your pastors. We would be delighted to help you find a place to serve! Our desire is to help you celebrate your life with God and His church so you can say with the Psalmist, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘let us go to the house of the Lord!’”
In His service and yours,
Pastor Mark R. Rhoads