I have heard the cry come to my ears, “How wonderful that things will be back the way they used to be.” I know what they meant. They are glad that some of the most restricting guidelines are no longer mandated for those who have been fully vaccinated. They are able to go back to doing some things that they have been unable to do for over a year.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, a Christian, and as a pastor it brings to my mind the words of the psalmist in 122:1, “I was glad when they said unto me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
I am happy for many the many people who are able to “reconnect” with others from whom they have been distanced or “barriered”; but as brothers and sisters in Christ, so many of us have “barriered” or distanced ourselves from “the house of the Lord” for a variety of reasons—serious health issues, concerns regarding the virus, among some of them. But while we have had the opportunity to hear and experience God’s Word online, some of us have fallen into the convenience of turning worship on and off as a convenience.
It has been a long time from worship for some. In the recent weeks we have had a number of brothers and sisters that have returned to worship after periods of absence. One brother said, “I am so happy to be back in church. THIS is where I NEED to be.” How his words echo the words of Psalm 122:1.
We come back together to hear God’s Word, to receive His forgiveness in confession and absolution. More than anything else, we come back together for the Lord’s Supper. United in worship as a body in Christ, we receive together, the body of our Lord Jesus Christ given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. What joy!
Why am ‘glad when they said unto me, “let us go into the house of the Lord”? Because I need to be with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I need to be reminded and reassured that what I believe, teach, and confess is true. I need to refocus my life once again so that it is centered in and on my Savior Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.
Join us once again. Gather together and receive all the gifts that public worship with Word and Sacrament ministry brings. As our brother said just a few Sundays ago, “THIS is where I NEED to be.” Here is where Jesus is. Here is where forgiveness is. Here is where His truth is found. Come and be fed. Come and rejoice. Come and be strengthened in your Savior.
Looking forward to seeing you again!
Shalom in Jesus,
Pastor Peter M. Peitsch