by Rebekkah Fulmer
“Our empty homes on Sunday, serve as a representation of the empty tomb we believe was left behind when Jesus rose again.” I vividly remember my father, a Baptist reverend, saying this from the pulpit one Sunday, and the emotional response it stoked within the congregation.
As believers, our call to be a living testimony is one that we take seriously. Any sense of affirmation that we’re being successful in our efforts, is incredibly moving.
We read Hebrews 10:25, which states, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Once again, confirming our responsibility, as Christians, to leave our homes and come together to worship the Lord. But what if we shifted our perspective?
I wonder how much of our desire for in-person-worship is directly tied to our desire to be seen as Godly. Has our focus become so hinged on appearances, that we’re willing to risk the health of our neighbors in order to be “seen by others?”
As we face new challenges, it becomes increasingly necessary to see things from a different point of view. What if our love for our neighbors outweighed the love we have for feeling like the “best” Christian? Matthew 6:5-6 says, “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
My hope is that our chosen method of worship, be it in-person or at-home, is solely focused on our love for those in our community, and not about proving a point.
For me, in-home worship has opened the door for new opportunities to grow, study, and learn. I feel blessed to be given the option to attend church from my home. I do long, however, for the day that I can once again worship with fellow believers. For the time being, I pray that we reflect on the motivations of our actions, and challenge our perspectives of Christ-like love.
May God keep you all in His perfect peace.
We are sharing reflections from our parishioners as some continue to worship from home. If you would like to share your thoughts, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.