So football season has started again. And it always amazes me the level people will go to support their teams and attend a game. I have watched people sit in snow and rain to watch a sports game. I have seen people sit in 100 degree weather and freezing weather to watch a game. This happens for high school teams and all the way up to the professional teams. In normal times stadiums are packed with people in some of the most grueling of conditions. This is all to watch a...GAME!?!?
So, as a pastor I am often intrigued by the fact that those that are followers of Jesus and who are called by Christ to assemble to gather together to worship, often have less enthusiasm and commitment than fans of football teams. I mean football is a game where you support your team but worship is a time where you give thanks to God for all you have and to give praise for eternal salvation!! You see football is essentially entertainment but worship is holy, and special. Worship is gathered community coming together to say they are part of God's team and that they commit to following God. That means even if it is cold or hot we come together to worship. That means if you can't hear the sound or see things perfectly you come together to worship. I love that on Facebook those that are at home can make comments real time and interact with one another in worship. We set the time aside to gather to worship God and give thanks for the gift that Jesus gave us..no matter what.
This last week the FM channel did not work. Yet, no one left because they could not hear. After the service I went and talked to some of the people in their cars. I talked to Rose Weimer who said they could not hear much of anything but they will go home and watch on Facebook. The important part was even though she could not hear most of the service she knew she was in worship. She knew she was in a holy place where God was present and she stayed to experience what God had for her in our gathered time in worship.
Safely gathering and following all laws and rules in place to worship during COVID is not easy. Yet, if football fans can figure out how to gather on hard stadium seats, with no heating/cooling systems, in tight spaces, and sometimes fans that are too loud or wild near them, I think those who worship Jesus can match that fervor. Actually, we should be able to exceed that fervor and find ways to worship even in the most trying of times.
2020 has been a trying year so far. It is in these times that worship, true worship of the One, Holy, and True God, is most vital. These are the times where we need to make time to be in worship in order to have our souls restored and revived. It is in these times we need God and the power of Jesus more than ever.
Yet, I understand that our bodies can only endure so much. Some outdoor heaters arrived this week and we hope to give them a try under the pavilion this Sunday. I am not sure how well they will work or how many will be able to feel the heat from them. We will have the 95.7FM channel fixed so people can stay in their vehicles, if that is the safest and most comfortable option. We will try to have better sound coming through for those that gather with us in worship on Facebook or YouTube. Yet, no matter what, set aside time this week to worship God, to give praise to Jesus, and to be renewed by the Holy Spirit.