LONGING by Church Member
I think we would all agree, Covid 19 has given us all plenty of time. Mostly, we don't have time: Rushing to the shops, Squeezing in appointments, Collecting children and a Multiple of other tasks. Now we do have time. Time to think. Time to reflect on what is important in life.
This time of forced reflection has been hard but helpful. I have had both positive and negative thoughts. Yet I remain thankful. I am so thankful for all I have - My family, my friends, my home and the many 'ordinary' things in life that I can so easily take for granted.
But I long too. I long to be with my family, in the same room, at the same table. I long to hug my elderly parents and watch my grandchildren climb on their knee.
I long for those precious day to day gifts, that through our busy lives we can so easily neglect.
Sinners made alive
And I long for church. Church has been family to me since my teens. Church is never about a cold old building but a place filled with an array of different people from different backgrounds, with one thing in common - The love and relationship we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are all sinners, none of us are perfect, all of us in need of a Saviour. Through Christ's death on the cross we are united, we are Church: 'But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.' (Ephesians 2v4-5)
Strangers made one
We have never been told before that we can't go to church. Of course we may make a decision not to go ourselves, but we have never been told we can't gather. That has not happened in Ireland before. These and other restrictions have turned everything upside down. What we took for granted we now realise how important it is for us to be together. To pray, to worship our loving Father in heaven, together: 'Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household...And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.' (Ephesians 2v19, 22)
I long for the day when we can gather together again. Hopefully soon. I pray that we will nurture that longing within us, that it will increase and never fade. I pray that together we will use this time to think and reflect on the blessing that Church is. The Apostle Paul says what is on my heart for all of you: '...brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time, (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.' (1 Thessalonians 2v17)