As a young boy growing up, I had a couple opportunities to travel to Atlanta to see the Braves play. I can still remember the excitement I felt as the day approached. I was a huge fan of the team. I watched them play on television. To get a chance to see them in person, even though I would be in the upper deck, was the chance of a lifetime. I soaked it all in. We got there early enough to see them taking batting practice and then stayed for the whole game. I could hardly believe I was there, seeing guys I saw on television, in person. While the excitement of this coming Sunday may not be as big as it was for me going to the baseball game, I can assure you I am still excited. This Sunday will be the first time in more than 60 Sundays that we will have had the chance to worship in the same building, in person. I know a lot of you have watched the services on-line, and we are indeed grateful for your doing that. But the fact remains that worship is not the same on television, or on the computer, as it is in person. There is just something about being together, even with masks on, that makes worship more meaningful.
This coming Sunday will be different. While we are excited to see everyone return, we do have to take precautions to make sure everyone stays healthy. Therefore, you will notice some new things when you arrive. You will be greeted in the parking lot by our church greeters. They will instruct you as to what to do when you go inside. You are asked to wear masks inside. Your temperature will be checked. You will be asked some questions and we will take attendance. You will also be asked to use hand sanitizer. All of this is done to make sure you are safe. In the sanctuary, you will notice pews roped off and spaced seating for social distancing. Again, this is done for your safety. We will ask that no one sing other than the one singing from the pulpit. Offering plates will not be passed, but will be available to place your tithes and offerings.
I think one of the hardest things we are doing is asking that we move to the parking lot after worship to talk and fellowship. We want you to talk with each other. We want you to share how glad you are to see one another again. We do want you to do this outside, where we can talk safely. After everyone is outside, the sanctuary will be cleaned to be used the next Sunday. A lot of work has gone into the plan for Sunday. There is so much excitement to see everyone. Thanks to those who have worked so long to get things ready and to make sure everyone stays healthy. We care about you and look forward to seeing you. As John 4:24 tells us: “God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” I look forward to seeing you Sunday. Until then..
Peace and Blessings, Johnny