Messiah Family and friends,
All, I have heard you; really, I have heard your voice, your why are we not open, your I understand an abundance of caution, but are we going too far, and your I am so tired of mask and all the precautions that go with that. I hear you, and, like you, I am hurting, I miss our gathering, I miss your smiles and I miss a congregation worshiping together.
In my pre-retirement position, I managed an office of technicians and other support staff. One year, when we were going through some rough organizational changes. I purchased nerf guns for everyone. I felt we needed to release some tensions that had developed because of the changes in the office and to bring us back together as a team. They did what I had hoped, we were having nerf battles, (I called it team building) spirits were up, and we were acting like a team again. One day while I was sitting at my desk one of the guys came running in, pointed a nerf gun to my head, he had that “gotcha” look on his face, and then his finger “slipped.” It hit me square in the forehead(he really was surprised by the shot), a good headshot. It stung, but my immediate frustration that he would even point one at someone’s face (rule #1: broken) and what could have happened if it had hit someone’s eye caused me, well, I am embarrassed to say I erupted! “You know better than that,” I clearly expressed.
The tech left the room deflated, upset at himself, and I guess a bit scared by my reaction. I calmed down and left my office to find him. I said, “I know you feel bad, I am okay, it’s okay. We talked about it, and after we made some adjustments in the “game rules” we moved forward. This was for the safety of all involved, and we were able to continue to enjoy some epic nerf battles.
I am willing to bet that each of us has been in the situation of making plans or thinking that something will happen in a certain way, and it didn’t work out. It brings such disappointment and takes a lot of adjustment. Things don’t always happen in the way that we planned or hoped it would. I believe that God allows this to happen for a reason. We may never know why on this side of Heaven—but no experience is ever wasted. I guess we can only trust that God knows what’s best for us
So, getting back to the big question, when will we be resuming our services, will it be soon? I sure hope so. But I just don’t know. The numbers are certainly looking better, the news speaks of how we are coming out of this. The truth is we may not be able to return right away. We might need to exercise caution for you and for those you love. You might need to keep watching from a distance for a while. But when the time is right, God’s people can, and must gather again, and I hope you’ll join us. After all, I am sure that the Bible’s vision of worship doesn’t look like a quarantine, a livestream, or a Zoom call. It’s a “face to face” encounter. So once we know it’s safe, wise, and no disservice to our community, we will gather together again—in person. We will have some epic services of that, I am sure.
A final thought: Christian patience doesn’t mean that you must like the circumstances; rather, it means you find the grace to await God’s timing.
President Messiah Council