“Where two or three gather together in my name, I am there among them.” – Matthew 18:19
I wasn’t a regular church-goer whenever I began my journey with Christ. I would read and study the Word of God but hadn’t connected my love for Jesus to my lovers yet. Then, I found a church home. A community of believers that came together to worship and bring praise to God and understood why as a follower of Christ, fellowship is so vital. Singing and praising Jesus’ name with others truly brings joy to my heart and makes me feel His presence alive around me.
Then in March, everything changed. Quarantine happened and churches and other places of worship had to close their doors. Sure, my church held online services and groups to help us stay connected as a community of believers but I still missed being in their presence. I missed my people, my community that I found and felt belonged to. Here I was the same woman that only stepped foot in a church when forced to for the first 27 years of my life longing to be allowed to be there.
Today, after six months of quarantine, the church doors finally opened. Yes, things did look a little different. Instead of donuts and coffee, there were individually-wrapped crackers and bottles of water. Instead of handshakes and hugs, we were greeted by waves and air fist bumps. The auditorium didn’t look jam-packed with people as I was used to. Rows were blocked off and we were asked to sit 2 seats apart from the next family. But when the music began and worship started, I was back home. All the social distancing and safety measures were in place and Jesus was still present in the room. We sang and worshipped and His Word was the same. He was and always is alive even though things were far from normal.
Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. – Psalms 103:1
I don’t know when or if society will get back to what we were accustomed to before the pandemic. But I do know that I am so grateful to be able to worship and praise God with others again. I am thankful to be able to share the love that Christ shared with us to others. Let us remember that no matter what, Jesus’ presence can be felt in our lives because He is alive within us.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. – Hebrews 13:8