Is Church Cancelled?

Over the last week many wondered whether church has been cancelled.  The answer is simply “No,” church is not cancelled.  In fact, church isn’t an event that may or may not take place on the calendar.  It isn’t a building that may or may not be closed.  Church is every believer following faithfully in submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Most churches are doing their part in the fight against COVID-19 by moving services and gatherings to online platforms.  I’m grateful for the opportunities technology affords us to remain connected to one another through this unusual time.  Church has not been cancelled, but instead we are pressing forward in faith and obedience. 

Here are a few reminders from Scripture for the church during this time.

  • We miss gathering. “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:25 During this time we are not neglecting our assembly, but are serving as responsible citizens, honoring the requests of our nation’s leaders to protect the public health.  I miss seeing all of you on Sundays and in Prayer and Bible Study Groups.  I know you miss the encouragement too.  This is temporary, and I look forward to gathering with you again. 

  • Until we gather again, let us warn those who are lazy. 1 Thessalonians 5:14, “Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy.”  Every believer has a responsibility to serve others.  Let’s not fall into the couch potato syndrome but consider how to help others in need. 

  • Let us “encourage those who are timid” 1 Thessalonians 5:14. These are turbulent times for many around us. Fears and anxieties over the unknown are overwhelming some.  We must encourage our neighbors, friends and family. 

  • Let us “take tender care of those who are weak” 1 Thessalonians 5:14. The COVID-19 virus can affect anyone of any age, but is most harmful to the elderly, the young, and the sick. How beautiful it is to see Christians loving and serving those in need during this time.

  • Let us “see that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people” 1 Thessalonians 5:15. How do you feel when you’re in the grocery store aisle waiting to pick up an item, and the young mother in front of you snaps at you for waiting behind her?  When an argument over a pack of chicken starts, how do you respond?  Be patient with everyone, and trust God will take care of you and your family. 

  • Let us “always be joyful” 1 Thessalonians 5:16. As Christians, we have every reason to be joyful even in times like these. Jesus is our Lord and our Victory.  Nothing in this world can overcome you or defeat you.  Through Jesus we have all we ever need for eternity.  Pain, suffering, anxiety, and fear are no match for Jesus. 

  • Let us “never stop praying” 1 Thessalonians 5:17. We are a church who prays. We pray to the God who created all things by His powerful word, and we seek His good, acceptable and perfect will be done. We plead with God to work wonders in the lives of our community.  We desire to see God glorified all around us.  Let us pray.

  • Let us “be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. In every circumstance, let us show gratitude.  God is working through this crisis.  We are watchful for what He will do to strengthen and shape us.  We are thankful for His sanctifying work in and around us. 

Let us be church in our homes, on our streets, and in the community.  Church is certainly not cancelled. 

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