Let’s go to church. Let’s go inside our hearts and open it up to the Holy Trinity. Let’s go to church, that is inside us, and make it a living example of helping others. Let our lips be the bearer of loving and kind words. No hatred, no pride, no arrogance, just kind and loving words. Let our eyes look at others not with condescension but with encouragement and compassion. Let our bodies, our church, speak of actions trumpeting Christ’s love.
The mention of “Let’s go to church” paints a picture of a family on a Sunday morning, going through the whole routine of getting dressed, driving a car, strenuously looking for a parking space and miraculously finding one. Then off the car and stands the church, beautiful and towering.
For the longest time that church, a towering structure, has been a symbol of refuge, hope and prayer for me. COVID 19, however, has some far-reaching effect on how I look at church now. Church, the structure, is still a beacon of light for me but somehow, the pandemic has brought another form of light in my life. It is not a floodlight and it is neither a blinding sunlight. The church I now know is a place, a candlelit place so subtle, warm and sometimes flickering but still holds up mightily, bringing light into this darkness.
Pre-pandemic, I was content with the idea of going to church, the building. Then the most unexpected and most unwelcome visitor came. That visitor brought lockdowns, deaths, anxiety, grief, job loss, fear. It has isolated people literally, in quarantine. I never thought, I would be reading stories to children via the screen of a gadget. Who would have thought that “going” to work in pyjamas would be a thing? It has brought tremendous anxiety to me and it still does, up to this moment.
During the pandemic, was born our altar at home, a more permanent one. Pre-pandemic, our altar seemed to have moved a lot, in the corner there, next to the TV here, in the middle or on the side – it was everywhere! It was during this very trying times that I have realised the importance of prayer and that the home must predispose me, my wife and my children, to it. Calming music in the background, candles, images – all completed the altar. We pray more now than ever.
Our family was no stranger to tragedy during the pandemic year. When our family needed to grieve and seek comfort from each other, it was extremely difficult. Our sadness was made even worse by restrictions of border control and physical distancing.
When weak, when desperate, when sad, when feeling alone, I say, let’s go to church. It is that candlelit church, I spoke about earlier. It is the candlelit church inside me, inside my family, inside you, inside all of us. In 1 Corinthians 3:9, it is said:
For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
Let’s go to church. Let’s go to each other and find that light in each other. Remember, we are stronger and brighter together.
I say, Amen, to going to church together and let no border control and physical distancing come between us, the community of believers.