31st October 2020

To Go or Not Go?

“And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.”
Hebrews 10.24-25 (CRB)

For 6 months most of us have not been able to go to church. Now our churches are re-opening, but under guidelines from the government, we will meet in different circumstances. We will have to wear face masks, we won’t be able to shake hands or hug one another, we won’t be able to have our post church coffee and chat. We will not be able to sing or move around to greet our Christian brothers and sisters. We will have to maintain social distancing and be careful going into and coming out of the building. It will not be church as we have known and loved it in the past, so we are faced with a decision, do we go or not go in the new normal? Each of us must make a decision based on our circumstances, our age, our health, and personal situation.

Under the constraints it will be harder for a family with small children, who are used to moving around at church, than perhaps for a single person. For a while it will be different and difficult, but even smiling, waving and talking to people from a distance is good for them and us. No one wants to force anyone to come to church in the new circumstances if they have real fears and worries about Covid-19. No one will be criticised if they are cautious and decide not to come for a while. But as the scripture above makes clear we should go to church if we can because it is part of looking out for each other, demonstrating love for each other and encouraging each other.

If we can, just by being there we also encourage not only our fellow Christians but the ministers, deacons and members who have worked very hard to enable church meetings to start again. While the internet has provided the benefit of online services and spiritual food for us, there is no substitute for being in church with our fellow believers. Going to church is an important habit and has real benefits for us in the here and now, while we should remember that every day brings us one day closer to the return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Prayer
Loving Father, bless the entire UK with a dramatic drop in cases of Covid-19, and help us to return to church meetings joyfully, despite having to accept new restrictions in the short term. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by Keith Hartrick

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About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone:  01484-312347
Email: leeds@gracecom.church

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