Tuesday, April 20, 2021

If. . .

If you can go to a grocery store, you can go to Church.

If you can go to the pharmacy, you can go to Church.

If you can go to the doctor's office, you can go to Church.

If you can go to Wal-Mart, you can go to Church.

If you can go to a restaurant, you can go to Church.

I am not saying this to guilt you into going to Church, but to challenge your presumption that somehow going to Church is inherently less safe than anything else.  The media may have done an exceptional job of making folks believe that going to Church is risky, but the facts do not bear them out.  Outside of a few crackpot pastors in crazy churches that no one should be going to in the first place, every congregation has roped off pews, had masks, put hand sanitizers every fifteen feet, and adjusted their normal activities in some way to ensure the safety of our people.

A survey of three dozen Roman Catholic bishops predicted that worship attendance would remain 25-40% below its pre-COVID numbers.  Many, if not all, Protestant churches have witnessed similar statistics.  Our own Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and Grace Lutheran Church is concerned that the numbers are not rebounding.  Part of the problem is not that people most at risk are staying home -- just the opposite!  Those who some think should not be in worship are the ones who have been in Church since pandemic began.  

In our own case, a handful of people over the course of March 2020 through March 2021 have unknowingly been infected and went to Church and we can trace 1-2 folks who got their COVID from someone in the pew.  This is despite the fact that we have never stopped having worship services and have had VBS, a congregational picnic, a yard sale, and music concerts all the way through that same time!  I am confident that neither Kroger nor Wal-Mart can attest to such a good record!

So if you have been staying away out of fear that Church is a dangerous place, let me challenge you to take another look.  The more you miss Church, the less you will miss it.  The longer you go without being in the Lord's House, the more likely it is that you will not return.  Nobody cares about statistics but your pastors and fellow members of the Body of Christ are most concerned about the state of your soul, about the means of grace to nourish and sustain your faith in such times of trial, and about the personal connections that reflect our unity in Christ.  YOU need the Church way more than the Church needs you.

Look at what you are doing, how you are providing for essential needs, and ask yourself why you have not returned to Church.  For despite what the government has tried to tell you, the Church is essential and what you receive here, you receive nowhere else.  Think about it.

No comments: