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Blessing # 7—Teaching Us to Love Church
Pastor Mike Novotny
by Pastor Mike Novotny
April 5, 2020

Can you imagine this isolation without modern advances in technology?

This week, I watched the livestream of our church’s worship service, complete with multiple cameras, gifted musicians, and a Christ-centered message. Later, I pushed play on my favorite Amazon station (Shane & Shane Hymns Live, FYI) and sang to Jesus with my wife and children. Throughout the day, I texted brothers and sisters in Christ and shared encouragement via Facebook and Instagram.

I have a hunch that the Christians who endured the black plague didn’t enjoy a Netflix party with their best friends . . .

Yet . . . I am not content.

Because I deeply miss being in church. Singing with my wife and daughters through a livestream is nice but nowhere near as glorious as joining hundreds of voices gathered in the same space. Taking sermon notes as I sit on the couch is better than nothing, but it’s not better than sitting in church. 

I realize, like you do, that the local church is complicated. Some sermons are a meandering path of disconnected passages that lack a clear point. Some musicians make a noise, but not a joyful one. And people are . . . well, people. 

Nevertheless, the coronavirus is teaching me to love my Christian church. I can’t wait for the day when the restrictions are lifted and we occupy the same GPS location. I have a hunch that the joy will drown out the drums!

Three thousand years ago, weekly worship wasn’t the norm. No wonder a psalm writer from that time gushed, “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’” (Psalm 122:1). Streaming to the Lord’s house in Jerusalem (the temple) brought thousands upon thousands of God’s family together. What a difference from the day-to-day life in a small Galilean village!

Technology provides a wonderful icing for our spiritual cake. Daily sermon podcasts and Christian radio fill me up from Monday through Saturday. But nothing can or will replace the physical gathering of God’s people.

If this pandemic teaches us to love Sundays more than ever before, it will prove, once again, that Christ > Corona.

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