Overlooked blessings…public worship
Pastor John C. Berg
I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
This is your daily devotion for May 1st. Kind of like yesterday, today’s overlooked blessing is one that, because of our present crisis, you may not be overlooking like perhaps you did in the past. The overlook blessing is public worship, a blessing that unfortunately we can’t enjoy right now. So many positive things come about in public worship. The most important is that when you are at public worship you are hearing the Word. Some Sundays you are receiving the Sacrament. Those are the means by which the Lord strengthens faith and gives forgiveness of sins.
There’s also the incredible benefit of being with each other. And I’m just talking about how we are social creatures and we like to be around each other. That is important, but we are also here encouraging each other. There is spiritual benefit to assembling with fellow Christians. That’s why it's a command from God. It’s good for us!
So why would I bring up a blessing we can’t currently enjoy? For a few reasons. #1 Don’t get used to this. I will confess that I think quite often about my people, the members of Divinity and St. John are going to get used to this not coming to church. I worry that once we are able to come together again some of you may not come back because you’ve gotten used to this. Don’t let the Devil use this time to plant false ideas in your head like; “well Pastor gives us daily devotions and we can watch church online…that’s good enough.” It’s not good enough. What I’m giving you is not enough. You need more. I need more.
In Hebrews 10 it says, “Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” I’m not making a political statement. I’m not saying shelter-in-place orders are wrong or that they should end now. I’m just saying, don’t get used to this. Don’t lose that feeling you had, especially the first few weeks, “boy I miss church.” Because it’s been a while now. I am afraid of us getting used to this. This is now my 28th daily devotion. We haven’t worshipped together since March 15th. That’s long time and our governor has now extended the shelter in place orders for a couple weeks. Don’t get used to it, friends. When our doors open again, come running back.
But there are a couple other reasons I want to talk about this today. #2 I do think not being able to worship together isn’t going to last a whole lot longer. My personal, gut feeling, is that within a few weeks we will be again gathering for public worship. It might be on a smaller scale with more services, but it will be better than what we can do right now. Look forward to that! It will happen at some point.
#3 We are going to start offering you another way to receive the Lord’s Supper. I’m sure that is one of things you miss most about public worship. Pay attention to your email for details. We will also communicate with you in other ways.
Psalm 122:1 I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” We will be rejoicing together someday soon. Don’t lost that desire, than anticipated joy of gathering together for public worship. Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, it weighs heavy on our hearts that it has been so long since we have gathered together to worship you. Please preserve and strengthen our faith. Lord, please make it possible for us to worship together soon. Amen.