“My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the House of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.” (Psalm 42:3–4)
Last week, we began a discussion about the church. Peter’s description was particularly interesting: “And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple…” (1 Peter 2:5, NLT). The church isn’t just a people; it’s a people assembled, meeting together for the purpose of worship.
Go back with me to March 2020. The country shut down and church doors were locked. I remember looking at our beautiful church building. Doors locked. Lights off. On Easter Sunday! Like the psalmist, I thought back to happier times when the House of God was filled with shouts of joy and thanksgiving…and my soul was sorrowful.
The surgeon general called loneliness the Great Epidemic of 2017! That was three years before most of us had ever heard of Covid-19. So, the cure for one pandemic furthered to deepen another. Much like the Ad Council’s March 2020 public service announcement, we were “Alone Together.”
According to the New York Times, Americans traded 300 hours of in-person time with friends, church members, and neighbors for 300 hours of social media, TV, and internet scrolling.
My contention last week was that God values relationships and created us as relational beings in His image. Jesus, while walking this planet, also valued relationships. So, if over the past two years, something the Lord values for us has declined, we must work to re-order our values. It’s not complicated. But it’s not necessarily easy, either.
We can’t continue to preach a relational God in this community we call the church and not prioritize relationships ourselves. The Bible gives us several ways we can reorder our lives, and we’ll talk about them Sunday in my message, “Another Pandemic.”
Hope to see you in The House of God!