What a faith community can do to keep the spiritual connection going.
Right now, I feel like I need church more than ever. And yet, because of the urgent need to protect everybody’s health, my church is closed. We’re doing worship virtually. I’ll be there—via my computer. But there’s a lot else I find I need to do.
My faith community has phones. I’ll bet yours does too. Give someone a buzz. Do it for them as well as yourself. Say a prayer together. Chat. Quote a Bible verse. Fear can be contagious. So is hope. Share hope with a loved one.
No choir means no singing God’s praise together. But it doesn’t mean you can’t sing to yourself. Tune into a song on your phone. Sing in the shower, or while cleaning the house. Worried about how you sound? Fret not. As the Psalmist said, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord.” Nothing there about perfection.
Like I said, you can pray on the phone. You can also pray at designated times even if you’re in your room alone. Someone recently alerted me of a call to pray at 4:00 p.m. EST for those suffering from the health crisis. I thanked her for her email, and at 4:00 I sat on my sofa and prayed. I was not alone.
Wash My Hands with Prayer
As I’ve found, the Lord’s Prayer said with some soap and lather comes out to a satisfying 20 seconds, plus the rinse. Never have I felt so connected to those words. It’s as though as I wash, I’m cleansing my soul.
Do a Virtual Bible Study or Class
Our usual Tuesday night group is still meeting. I’ll admit it’s different not sitting around a table. Instead I'm glimpsing only individual faces on the computer screen, not seeing the whole group. But no doubt about it, it is still community.
Listen to the Silence
These 40 days of Lent we mark the period that Jesus spent in the wilderness before He began his ministry. That aloneness, that solitude, was His preparation. This period of uncertainty can seem like the wilderness to me. Then I remind myself of Who was here before and remember that times of silence can also be times of preparation.
Church is taking on a new shape, but think about it, our faith communities have been reinventing themselves for 2,000 years. Sometimes I feel that right now, we’re closer than ever to the first followers of Jesus. Times were often hard for them but no matter their circumstances they sang, they prayed, they witnessed and they passed on the Word.
Prayers for all of you.