Dear Holy Trinity Family and Friends,
Who would believe that our lives continue to be isolated because of this Coronavirus pandemic! I ask you to allow your minds to wander for a few moments. We’ve heard on the news that law enforcement officials recorded license plate numbers of Christians who attended parking lot worship services while remaining in their vehicles listening on the radio. They would be fined through the mail.
Now let your minds wander inside Holy Trinity’s sanctuary. Now imagine that you will never be allowed to go back inside to worship. How would you feel? Some of you may say, “We’ll worship at home privately” which we, of course, do daily during our devotional time, reading our Bibles and praying. I encourage each of you to continue to do this. For those of you who do not spend time in His Word and in prayer, now would be a good time to start. Our private worship time is so important as a part of our daily lives but so is corporate worship.
Now let your minds wander to our first Sunday back to worship God in our beautiful sanctuary. How do you feel? Excited, anxious, ready to worship? The psalmist writes “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Ps. 51:10-12) Sound familiar? If so, it is one of our offertory canticles at our traditional worship service. Our liturgical worship is all Bible based and beautiful if we think about the words we’re singing. The same can be said about the songs sung at our contemporary worship service.
We have been shuttered since our last worship services on March 15th. We now anticipate returning soon to corporate worship meaning “united or combined into one body”. St Paul writes, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16) Martin Luther found corporate worship powerful in awakening his spiritual fire. As we prepare to return to worship let us not take for granted the privilege we have to worship our God and Savior, to gather in fellowship, and to share in His mission. This is all integral to who we are.
As we enter our Sanctuary let us do so with a renewed spirit leaving behind old grudges and bitterness. Let us enter with joy and praise remembering the words of the psalmist, “You God, are my God, earnestly I seek you . . . my lips will praise you . . . I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.” (Ps. 63:1, 3-4) And the words of Zephaniah “Be glad and rejoice with all your heart.” (Zep. 3:14)
We have great possibilities before us as a fellowship of believers. Let us love one another and rejoice in our Lord and Savior. Let us encourage one another. Let us extend invitations to those who may have no church.
Think and pray about how we will return to corporate worship. Let it be with happy hearts and a renewed spirit.
We will continue our worship service on social media until we gather again as a corporate community.
In Christian love,
your Pastor and Friend,