Monday, March 16, 2020


The character Dave on CBC's Vinyl Cafe used the slogan, "we may not be big, but we're small," in reference to his fictional record store.  Today when events with a large audience, including worship services, are being cancelled, being small works in our favour. Our worship services are well under the threshold of 250 in attendance.

So, we gathered together on Sunday morning, mindful of the situation, but with compassion for one another. We made some changes. 

  • The choir spread out, with an empty chair between each chorister. 
  • The congregation was asked to "socially distance" from one another. When a small group spreads out they actually look like a large group!  
  • Doors were left open or attended so we didn't touch shared surfaces. 
  • Cookies were served with a set of tongs rather than self-serve.
  • The minister did not shake hands and 
  • there was no hugging. Very hard for our congregation not to hug.

So why meet at all?

Because, while social distancing is a way to keep us all safe, social isolation can be very harmful to a population already short on social networks. We are not meant to live alone.
Right from the beginning, God intended humans to live in relationship with Him and with each other. Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
The Bible abounds with examples of friendship, David and Jonathon.  1 Samuel 18: 1-4 
 Naomi and Ruth,  Ruth 1:16 
Jesus and Martha and Mary. John 12: 1-3

Throughout the Bible we find God commanding His people to live in friendship and love for one another.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Colossians 3:16 ESV
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Ephesians 2:19-22 ESV
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit

Historically, sanctuary meant a place of safety, where fugitives -- slaves, criminals, losers in a war--could flee. Once inside the sanctuary, they could not be arrested. 
Amid all the public health bulletins, endless newscasts, social media hype, panic buying and hoarding, we all need a place of sanctuary. 
We found that place on Sunday morning, among our fellow believers, where we could tune out the competing voices of the world and hear instead the Word of God. In particular, we listened to the well-loved verses from Romans 8:38-39(KJV)
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Stay safe this week, protect your friends and community, wash your hands, and remember that not even COVID 19 can separate us from the love of God.

A sacred place, such as a church, in which fugitives formerly were immune to arrest (recognized by English law from the fourth to the seventeenth century)

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