"Returning to Church Will be Different" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares


Many churches either have been or will be open before long for in-person services of worship. I have heard some people comment, “Oh, I’m afraid that with all the guidelines it just won’t be the same.” Well, that is true. It won’t be the same for a while. Reduced occupancy, with social distancing of six feet apart. Everyone wearing a mask. Other guidelines required by the CDC or churches. It IS going to be different until this pandemic goes away.

But here is what makes it okay for me. Here is what gives me so much peace. We are a people of faith. And our faith is in Jesus Christ who never changes. The scripture affirms, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Coming to church is about praising God and growing in our faith. So here is the question: Can we praise God and grow in our faith while wearing a mask to protect others? Of course we can. Can we praise God and grow in our faith while sitting six feet apart? Of course we can. Can we praise God and grow in our faith without shaking hands or hugging? Of course we can. Because the Lord is present in every house of worship in this community. It is not about us. Our worship is about God!

We certainly need to be careful and follow the suggested guidelines. And then we say along with the psalmist, “I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go unto the house of the Lord.’” (Psalm 122:1)

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