Worship, although central, is not alone as the only basic. We must pursue ways to minister to one-another and to edify one-another. The church must seek to relieve those who are in need. Credo… sanctorum communionem. I believe the communion of saints. Despite our mutual, providential, burden monikered Covid-19, many congregations have continued to worship—and that is great—it is central to communion of the saints; that ancient profession of what is fundamental in the Christian faith. But we also confess that this communion requires fellowship, mutual ministry, and relief.
Last week I found myself in a very empty fellowship hall at the church where I pastor. The chairs and tables have been put away since March and we have not had a fellowship lunch since then. Occasionally my kids will say, “Remember at fellowship lunch when….” and they will tell a story or mention a favorite recurring dish or dessert.
As I stood there in that big echoey room, I sighed and considered all that has not gone on in there since March. “I believe the communion of the saints.”
Those old ancient words.
Credo… sanctorum communionem.
I walked over to the wall and noticed the calendars had also not been updated:
We keep a quarterly schedule on the wall on white board calendars. They were all still in place. Birthdays and anniversaries and events had gone by.
Covid-19 has been especially difficult for many congregations. Every one has their story, and I am not elevating my congregation’s experience as an example of Christian suffering. Not at all. It has not been easy—but God has been gracious, for sure.
We have continued to meet weekly in our beautiful courtyard to pray and sing and hear the Word of God preached. We had one outdoor baptism and we’ve received the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper on two occasions while seated in the grass under the deep blues and greens of the midcentury stained-glass window.
God has been so good to us. One younger member said to me that it was “like worshiping in a fairy garden.” I’ve never been in a fairy garden, but I can imagine the similarities—purple and red blossoms all around, sun-drenched grass, beautiful stained-glass against the khaki stuccoed walls. Interesting variations of hummingbirds and butterflies.
Sure, a fairy garden.
We are meeting. We are worshiping.
Credo… sanctorum communionem. I believe the communion of saints.