Friday, June 12, 2020

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 150, “Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!”

It has been a long, hard road. On March 15, I canceled church in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. For three months, we have been unable to gather for worship. Yes, we have benefited from modern technology, making a variety of content available here on Facebook Live, Vimeo, and scchartford.org, and it has been a blessing. We will continue to do so going forward, however, this Sunday we reopen the doors of South Congregational Church for corporate worship! Yes, we will wear masks. Yes, we will use hand sanitizer. Yes, we have blocked off pews to allow for social distancing, but the sounds of a community worshiping together will once again rise to heaven from 277 Main Street in Hartford, Connecticut as it has for 350 years!

It is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, or, as the rock band, Cinderella sang in 1988, “You don’t know what you’ve got, ‘til it’s gone.” I do apologize for the atrocious grammar, but that’s rock ‘n’ roll.

I have missed worshiping together. What has encouraged me is how many brothers and sisters-in-Christ I have spoken to who really miss it as well. They are excited to be together again! Sadly, for some, Sunday morning can deteriorate over the years into a sense of obligation or habit. Ugh! I’m tired. It’s been a long week. I don’t want to go to church this morning. You have to! You’re the pastor!

God is sovereign, and as Romans 8:28 reminds us, “…God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Perhaps, one of the “good” things we can take away from this worldwide pandemic is how much we miss worshiping God! I am so excited that others are so excited to praise the Lord! Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got, ‘til it’s gone. Or in the King James, “You knoweth not what thy possesseth, until thy possesseth it not.”

I pray our enthusiasm does not fade. “Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!”           
  
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Send in prayer praises and petitions to southchurchprayer@gmail.com. We lift them up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 4:00 pm on Facebook Live.

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