I (and a lot of other people) am groaning today, “Oh, if we only could go to church tomorrow, I miss my friends!” Here in British Columbia, as well as in many parts of Canada and, I assume around the world, all social gatherings are banned (unless the folks involved live in the same house as you do). It’s probably one of the toughest parts of this pandemic scenario, at least for me. Thankfully I can still go walking at our local high school track and say “hi” to my friends from several lanes away.
Though not in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, the writer of the book of Hebrews exhorts believers to make church attendance a priority. Here’s how he puts it:
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
A more modern version says it this way: “Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25 TLB)
Whether you are of the Christian persuasion or not, meeting together is essential to our mental and emotional health. While under the current conditions it seems impossible to do that, thankfully we have ways to enjoy unity and communion. In spite of physical distancing we can thank God for internet, telephones and for walking tracks. I encourage each of us (me included) to maintain communication with friends and family. Loneliness is discouraging, often leading to plain old frustration or bitterness.
So, who can you think of that needs a phone call? Some neighbour who could use a home-baked dessert or a distant friend or family member a handwritten card? Let’s get creative!