If 2020 had a Marketing tag line, it would probably be something along the lines of Because of Covid.
Most of us likely have our own Because of Covid stories. Dream vacations cancelled. Milestone birthday parties cancelled. Baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, reunions, funerals, Thanksgiving and Christmas … all these and more cancelled or restructured to adhere to health guidelines and restrictions …. Because of Covid.
My sweet, little 92-year-old Mother-in-law has not attended church in person in the last 10 months Because of Covid. Her church has reopened, but because of her age, her children convinced her it would be wiser for her to continue to watch church online.
Last month, my husband and I invited Mom to one of the Vineyard’s Christmas Eve services. As a bonus, our son was playing in the Worship band for the holiday services and my mother-in-law has never seen him play in public.
It was relatively easy to convince her to join us for an evening of worship. We picked a service that we figured would be less attended so she would be comfortable with as little exposure to others as possible. We reassured her that the Vineyard has been amazing at adhering to health protocols.
My mother-in-law’s reaction to walking into an actual church building for the first time in 10 months spoke volumes as to how much her soul has missed fellowship. The second she set foot in the sanctuary, she was overcome with emotion and tears. Which of course made me cry as well. I understood her tsunami of feelings as I had the exact same reaction the first time my husband and I attended church in person last summer once the church was allowed to reopen.
As much as I have appreciated the luxury of watching church online during the pandemic – there is nothing more spiritually uplifting than being able to worship with a like-minded body of believers – in the flesh. When we are in church singing praises to God and hearing an inspirational message, we are united as family.
I think my mother-in-law felt that family bond on Christmas Eve even though the Vineyard is not her home church. Her soul has been starved of human interaction, live music and brothers and sisters in Christ all raising hands in praise to our Heavenly Father.
This pandemic has created hardships for so many. As a church family we have seen the emotional and spiritual damage of being prohibited from public meetings. The church has never been more important and more ESSENTIAL than during this season of lockdown and quarantine.
I appreciate our church and the lengths to which they are going to keep us safe. I know many aren’t able to attend in person just yet because of health restrictions. If, however, you have no such constraints and you are anxious to worship in person again, I encourage you to join our Vineyard family every weekend. Online church is fine, but there is nothing more fulfilling than a community of believers singing out in one voice, sharing the joy of the Lord in the house of God.
It’s so good to be home, for the simple reason … There’s No Place Like Home!
Blessings in Christ, Kathy K.