Like many things in our lives, we have long taken attending church in person for granted. In fact, in our consumer culture attending church has become an activity for many without depth or commitment. One of the many things God has obviously done through and in this ongoing pandemic is sift out people who are not committed to the Body of Christ, to Christ himself. At this point in time vaccines are ramping up and the experts tell us that by fall we could have herd immunity in our nation. Time will tell.
But we seem to be heading for a summer where we can all begin returning to church and hopefully by fall be back to full attendance or close to it. This worldwide pandemic has done many things and it has thrust technology to the front. We have been blessed with many things and no doubt on-line church and meetings have helped decrease sickness and death. However, we have also learned that virtual reality is not the reality God desires we have unless there is no choice. For some that will be there go to, the homebound, the sick those in far off places. But for those of us across the block or across town we need to return to embodied worship, be together, talk, help whenever possible.
Worship since the inception of Church always has been participatory. The Bible (Hebrew and Greek) speaks of worship as a whole-bodied engagement. We meet with others, we shake hands, we offer compassion and empathy, we help. Biblical worship is an embodied expression of adoration and allegiance to our God. Many things are included in worship, singing, speaking etc. all require us to be present if possible. Digital church is a compromise for some but not an option for all. The reality is for all who are able in-person worship must become our priority once again.
We must join together for there is much, rejoicing, feasting, grieving and everything in between to be done together as the Body of Christ.