I will surely gather all of you, Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people. - Micah 2:12
As we look ahead to starting to gather as a community of faith again next month, I know our church family has felt rather like a remnant. We haven’t been together in our sanctuary since mid-March, and we want to be back together again.
And yet, the reality is that even when we begin to come back it won’t be the same, and it probably won’t be like it was pre-COVID until next fall when we kick things off. And yet, even amidst these very challenging realities, we have continued to be Church. We have gathered on our campus in different ways and will do so again one more time later this month on the 23rd for “Drive Through Bethlehem.” We drove to Ward Chapel and delivered food baskets and Publix cards. We have continued to reach out with video chats, birthday cards, phone calls, and letters. We have gathered for education and fellowship on Zoom gatherings throughout each week, and we have continued to worship; albeit all in new ways none of us expected or perhaps even enjoy.
Yet the hope and promise are that while feeling like a scattered flock these past months, we will be brought together again like a flock in its pasture. We may feel like a remnant of ourselves as we move through our Christmas season apart from one another, but the time is surely coming when things will start to (slowly) begin to feel like normal again.
In the meantime, especially with the increasingly rising case numbers around us and warnings of worse weeks yet ahead of us, we must remain strong and diligent in the ongoing stewardship of one another’s well-being.
Rest assured though, my friend, we will surely be gathered again.
Loving God, grant us strength and patience in the weeks ahead so we can enter a time of being gathered together again.