Since March 2020, I haven’t been inside the building where my church meets.
For a short period, they closed down. But sooner rather than later, they opened back up.
But I wasn’t comfortable returning. It didn’t feel safe. While some covid precautions were taken, they didn’t meet the CDC guidelines. Too many virus outbreaks occurred.
So I watched from home. And that was good.
Until it wasn’t. I’d occasionally switch to another church’s online service that I liked even better. And over time, I switched to a third church’s online service in another state that I preferred best of all, where I saw Jesus most of all.
But now it’s decision time.
Go or No Go?
Jeff and I are both fully vaccinated now. The CDC has given us the scientific green light to return to in-person services.
Yet I’m still hanging back.
- I’m disappointed by the way many churches mishandled pandemic protocols.
- I’m discouraged by the lack of concern they showed for each others’ health.
- I’m uncomfortable with the extreme sides taken by the people on the pew that feels disrespectful to Christ’s message of unity and love.
How can I go back to that?
One step at a time.
First, I need to do a heart cleanse.
God knows my heart better than I do, so I need his Spirit to show me what attitudes I need to release, what forgiveness I need to offer, what grudges I need to repent of.
Then second, I need to clear my head of biases.
I’m old enough to understand that no church is perfect because no people are perfect. My expectations need to be realigned with what’s reasonable, not with what’s ideal.
And third, I need to make a move.
It can be a temporary move. My initial decision doesn’t have to be a permanent one; it just needs to be a forward one. It may take trial and error to find the best place we need to be. Maybe it’s where we left off. Maybe it’s not.
But I won’t know if I don’t go and see.
God Can Be Trusted
It’s a new season and we’ve been changed by this past year’s experience.
Faith has shifted for many.
But God is still trustworthy.
We can still place our confidence in him, even while we regain our footing on which people to trust, even which church to trust. God’s perpetual love for us as individuals and as a group remains steady.
God still has my trust.
Pam Ecrement’s post on “Getting It Backwards” caught my eye this week. She writes on how easy it is for get turned around before we even realize it.
I want to make sure that I’m turned in the right direction. Pam’s gentle encouragement reminds me to listen to the Lord’s voice above all.
Read all of Pam’s post here at her blog, then link up your own blog posts below.
Have you felt mixed up about church, too? What has helped you make a decision to return?
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