I have to admit I found myself growing increasingly disappointed in the midst of the 9:30 live stream service this past Sunday. Because we are working with a skeleton crew, one of my new roles on Sunday morning is to advance the scripture slides during the sermon. While sitting at the computer I have a monitor sitting nearby which allows me to view the live stream and see what you are seeing.
For those of you who were watching this past Sunday, you know that about 10 minutes into Shaun’s sermon, the stream suddenly went offline and remained offline for about 5-10 minutes. I saw it happen of course, and like many of you immediately went “Oh no!”. We got it back, it went down again, and then we were finally able to get it back up and running for the rest of the service. Throughout this stretch, we understandably lost a significant amount of viewers who had tuned in for the service.
The primary reason for my disappointment was because I was so much looking forward to the end of the service when we would all be observing communion together. I know I wasn’t the only one anticipating this, as just minutes before the start of the service someone texted me a picture (see above) of the cup they had prepared and the bread they had baked with just one word: “Ready!”
Now that I’ve had a day to look back, I’ve come to believe that the Lord accomplished all that He intended for this past Sunday morning. Just like with this pandemic, nothing takes God by surprise, including what happened on Sunday morning. A little back story:
Under normal circumstances, our congregation would have observed communion at the church on Palm Sunday, but full disclosure, as a staff we had not made plans to schedule a time of communion during this Easter season. It only became a reality after we were encouraged to schedule a time of communion by someone in our congregation. Once we announced that we would be observing communion on April 19th, this decision was met with strong affirmation from our church family.
A day or so later someone else from our congregation made the suggestion that we publish the baking instructions for the bread, as this would give us one more thing we could do together as a church family. Again, this met with much enthusiasm and affirmation.
Reflecting back, I’ve thought to myself, “This is the way that it’s supposed to work.” The Lord speaks through all of us to get us where He wants us to be. Now, looking back, rather than disappointment, I’m glad for the Community Life that we were able to experience in the days leading up to Sunday and even in the midst of a temporary glitch on Sunday morning.
Thanks to those who encouraged us to offer communion and to publish the baking instructions. Thanks to all of you who participated in the communion service, either on your own at some point during the morning, or those who were viewing and able to join us and remember what is most important through all of this: Jesus died for us. His body was broken, His blood was shed so that we could be reconciled to God, and because of that, His Spirit speaks through all of us, helping His church to move forward.
Let’s continue to move forward together!
The Lord bless you and keep you!
(Coming Tomorrow: Information regarding the Cares Act Loan and how the church will use it.)