Dear church family,
“Look out the window!” I said this to Kelli the other day when I spotted a pileated woodpecker on the bird feeder. (Here is Kelli’s photo.) When we experience something remarkable, we like to share it with others – whether a beautiful bird or a funny video. Somehow sharing it makes it more meaningful. Whatever we admire, laugh about, or stew over – it feels undigested unless we tell somebody.
Our urge to experience events in the company of others derives from God. God is one, but he is not solitary. The persons of the Trinity together share and enjoy the glory of the godhead. (Jn. 17:5) God has built mankind on the same pattern. He made the first man solo and gave him some time with no other humans to underscore that “it is not good that a man should be alone.” God designs us for communal life, like himself.
The shutdown has driven home the importance of sharing our lives. Here in April, we enjoy just a fraction of the fellowship we had in February. We feel the difference. We miss the boost that comes from praising God together, the way he designed. As David said, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!” (Ps. 122:1) Worship is best in the company of others.
It is possible, however, that God may use this time of isolation to sweeten our community. Our seclusion makes opportunities for worship and fellowship more rare, but also (in my experience anyway) more intense and sweet. When we come out of the shutdown, we may find that our relish for corporate worship and our delight in fellowship has grown. We should pray for this outcome!
But in the biggest picture, the final cure for our isolation will come at the resurrection. On that day, all the inner and outer obstacles to fellowship will drop away. Full harmony with God, the angels, the church, and the creation will snap into place.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I have been fully known.
(1 Cor. 13:12)
We will be fully happy as we fully share our lives. Let the current isolation fill you with joy over what is to come.
Pastor Dan Clifford