A message from Pastor Jeff for us to read each week when we enter into virtual worship. Each week Pastor Jeff is giving us a Guided Worship to read and videos of his service to watch.
We bring anxious hearts with us to this time of worship. Our world is changing and the rules of social engagement are in flux. We meet today in isolation and attempt to bridge the physical divide by employing a technological fix for the distance between us. Yet the words of Jesus remind us of the communal nature of faith: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20) That statement has within it the implication that faith is more than sheer personal belief or action. Both our belief and our action are done in partnership with the gathered body of Christ. So to be called into “social distancing” is a true obstacle to the expression of genuine faith. And yet.
In these times when public safety trumps short-term inconvenience, we find ourselves as Christians trying to think of new ways to stay connected. It is to that end that I am providing this “guided worship.” Is it enough? No. What is required is our care and concern for those within our church, community, and world. What may yet link us together is prayer. Prayer knows no borders or boundaries. Prayer makes no distinction between rich and poor, sexual orientation, black or white, even Christian and non-Christian. It may yet prove to be that mystical force that keeps us connected in our care for each other and our service to God.
With that said, let us begin.
PREPARING FOR WORSHIP
- Take a deep breath, exhaling it slowly and let the breath that escapes your body be a cleansing moment when all the anxiety that besets you is expelled.
- Do this breathing exercise again.
- Do it again.
- Now remember a time of comfort and joy.
- Focus on God’s hand in creating, sustaining and guiding you to this place of peace.
- Finally, give thanks for what God has done in your life and say out loud “O GOD I GIVE YOUR NAME PRAISE AND I AM READY TO ENTER INTO THIS TIME OF WORSHIP.”