Food for Thought: Meaningful Worship in a Pandemic
Rev. Johnny Wang
When something big like the Coronavirus (COVID 19) Pandemic of 2019 hits, it catches our attention. Are church people, both leaders and members, ready for the unannounced and sudden arrival of the disruptions of such magnitude? Worship services, undoubtedly are one of most important activities in Christian church ministry that can be disrupted by any of the following: wars, natural disasters like storm and flood, human mistakes in forest fire, political and religious persecutions and in the destruction of church and temple buildings, in denial of freedom in assembly and practices, and health pandemics as seen in history and at our doorsteps. The signs of success in 21st century in world business are big, more, and eye-catching; Church “business” is not exempted from such in opinion polls.
When church attendance is affected, take worship for example, what are our immediate and long-term measures for now and for time to come? Thank God for on-line digital modern miracles that keep believers connected. However, this is not the ideal long-term solution to having close-distance fellowship with God and fellow-Christians.
According to Jeremiah Chapters 7 and 8, three things are suggested that we do with regards to meaningful worship:
FIRST, approach worship with “clean hands” (Jer. 7:1-12). Look for holiness in your personal life. Holiness is God’s 20/20 vision into our lives! Don’t be a virus carrier in close contact with other worshippers that would cause trouble in worship places, the church!
SECOND, approach worship with a “sincere desire” (7:21-24). Obey the voice of the Lord. Do what the Law says in the 15-day Shelter in-Place order. In simple language, don’t just hear, but have a desire to do! Don’t just say, but act upon it! Isaiah chapter one points out His displeasure in many things found in worshippers in their insincerity. God loves His people to worship Him in spirit and in truth!
THIRD, approach the worship with repentance, for there is always physician for recovery (Jer. 8:4-7;20-22). There shall be other viruses that can cause trouble in our lifetime. If Christians say that they have no sin; they lie! Christians win over sin by confessing and by coming before Christ whose blood cleanses all our sins for Father God’s justification.
Collectively, the church is a Christian group. Worship is a collective Christian gathering. Numbers and locations matter little. Just imagine when the worship service is full of virus-free people in close fellowship, who should care about BIG, MORE, AND ATTENTION; this worship has it all. I shall have no need to look for another church nor another kind of worship service. Dear fellow servants of the Lord, hang loose; and by being faithful to Him and His words, spread the Gospel. My fellow-Christians, true peace can only be found in our Lord; and, there is always physicians and balm available for healing in Christ.”
Rev. Johnny Wang is an Advisor and a past President of the Chinese Baptist Fellowship of the US and Canada. He and his wife, Vivian, live in San Francisco, California.
當像2019年的冠狀病毒（COVID 19）這樣的大流行來襲時，它引起了我們的注意。作為教會中人，無論是帶領者還是成員，我們是否都準備好怎樣應對這突如其來的的巨大的干擾和破壞？崇拜無疑是教會事工中最重要的活動之一，可被以下何一件事情中斷：戰爭，天災，如暴風雨和洪水，人禍，如森林大火，政治和宗教迫害，以及對教堂和宗教殿堂的破壞，禁止集會和履行宗教活動的自由，以及在歷史中和就在眼前的大流行等。 國際商業在21世紀在中取得更大和更多的成功標記，並更引人注目；教會的“生意”在民意調查中也不例外。