"For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there I am among them."
Once again, little did I know when I wrote the original text (below) where we would be on April 1st, 2020. I have been hoping we'd wake up to the news today "April Fool"
and life would have returned to normal.
Not in our wildest imagination, could we have seen our churches (and everything else!) closed...especially during Easter. But somehow, in our true American spirit, we are finding new ways to gather in the midst of this pandemic storm.
"Gather" takes on new meaning in these days. We may not be able to physically connect in the ways we are used to, but we can emotionally. FaceTime and Zoom are our new best friends. We can participate (yes, participate, not just watch in real time) our worship services via YouTube and Facebook. We can pick up the phone that's always in our pocket and chat with a friend that is "sheltering in place" in Australia or right next door.
We live in an age of limitless possibilities for connecting. And we are connecting in a deeper and more personal way that has long been taken for granted. Cherish these opportunities to reach out and check on a loved one, or a neighbor.
And while life is moving at this slower pace, we'd better rest up, my friends, because when this is over, more than ever we need to be the hands and feet of Christ.
I have always been intrigued by "Blue Zones."
If you're not familiar, these are areas around the world where people typically live full, healthy lives to 100 years old and beyond, and what are the common denominators amongst them. The obvious are genetics, diet and exercise, but equally important to their longevity are faith and community. A heartfelt belief in God and quality time with friends and family.
We are so blessed to live in a country and a community that cherish both of these, but it takes intention on our part. Church and family can extend beyond the walls of the sanctuary or our immediate family. Gather with those that fill your heart and build you up both socially as well as taking part in the many activities offered in our community and church.
And in the process, we can be the hands of feet of Christ across the world, through mission trips, volunteering at a local hospital or sharing a cup of coffee with your elderly neighbor.
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