I know I was not alone in my sorrow this past week when I learned that the doors of churches across the nation were closing. At first, I felt as though jolted by a sudden shock of unbelief. What? No Mass? No, no, no. That can’t be true. That’s something from the days of the catacombs, not 2020. Since then, my family and I have given thanks a thousand times for the little upper room in our home that serves as our prayer room and chapel. Still, not being able to praise and worship with our faith community is a great sorrow.
Now is as good a time as any to remember that WE are the church. We, God’s people, remain united in faith no matter where we are at a given moment. We may be unable to go to the brick and mortar buildings where we usually praise and worship together, but we are still “the church.” The good patrons and workers at Sam’s Club reminded me of this when they lifted their hearts, minds and voices in unison to God Almighty. Right then. Right there, in Sam’s Club. Check it out:
Praise and worship wherever you are
I would have loved to have been in that store when these beautiful believers busted into song, wouldn’t you? In the midst of a national crisis with waves of panic washing over each town and municipality, we could use a lot more of this. THIS. Unabashed, uninhibited, straight-from-the-heart praise and worship. Love you some Jesus? Well, then, why not let the whole world (or, at least the world within Sam’s Club or wherever you happen to be) know it?
A patron started the impromptu church service at Sam’s Club when passing by a keyboard display. She decided to share her talent, and before she knew it, a crowd of patrons and an employee joined their voices to her music, singing, “My God is Awesome.”
National disaster has a way of bringing us back to our roots
Where were you on September 11, 2001? I was holding my newborn daughter as I sipped coffee after a night of no sleep. I watched the morning news and stood frozen in disbelief as I saw film footage of a plane smashing into the side of the World Trade Center. For weeks, perhaps, months later, Americans united. People restored family ties that had been severed. Others went back to church. The flag was displayed in front of many homes. Lee Greenwood’s 1990s hit, “God Bless the USA” made its way back to the top of the charts.
Here we are in 2020 although our enemy this time is not a radical Islamic terrorist group. It’s a microscopic virus known as COVID-19. As I write this, officials have closed our schools, churches and non-essential businesses. We’re hunkering down in our homes but also making occasional runs to the store to try to find toilet paper, meat and other supplies. Most of all, we’re praying again. Today, the pope called for world prayer at 9 p.m. in Rome, which was 4 p.m. EST. Wouldn’t it be great if more people took their cues from the spontaneity of the praise and worship group at Sam’s Club? They might close our church doors, but WE are the church. Sing out, ye people of God! Sing out!