Pastor’s Friday Comments (03.27.20)

There are plenty of things all of us are tired of right now, but one of the things that has me worn out is hearing the word “virtual.” In the past, like a couple of weeks ago, virtual meant something like “almost as good as.” As in, “that car is virtually new”; or, “I’m virtually certain.” Now it just means, “it’s not the real thing, but it’s all we’ve got”.

If you’re trying to work from home, you probably know the frustration of trying to have a virtual meeting. A good friend was actually in such a conference when he sent me this video. You might want to check it out. It would be a little funnier if it weren’t so true.

If you participated in our virtual worship services last weekend, then you understand why the new definition of “virtual” is “not the real thing, but it’s all we’ve got”. Even if you were able to open all the attachments and could click past the ads on the YouTube videos without completely losing your spiritual concentration, you know it wasn’t as good as being in God’s house with your church family. But for now it will have to do.

We will keep working on making the experience more truly interactive. This weekend, assuming all goes well, there will be a video along with the audio of the sermon and there will be musical links (without ads!) for the Morning Worship Service. (For The Beginning we will still use YouTube videos.)

If you have any ideas about how to make the experience more meaningful, I’d be glad to hear them. Our goal is to get you involved in worship rather than simply spectating while others perform. There was enough of that going on in modern worship services before we all got confined to our homes.

One part of the service that is necessary and possible to duplicate is the bringing of your offering. Many of you have been doing that electronically or through the mail already, but this is the time to encourage everyone else to do that also.

At least one member found the recorded sermon last week to her liking. If you have a tendency to look around during the service and get distracted by what she called “this and that,” then participating online may be a good alternative for you. However, I told her not to get used to it.

What this virtual experience has demonstrated to me is how much worship means to many of you. You are willing to put up with the limitations of at home worship because “it’s all we’ve got”. I’m praying for the day when we are back together in our family living room – the sanctuary of Parkway Baptist Church. I know that will be a high and holy time. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get through the words, “Let us stand for the worship of God” without breaking down. But for now, let’s virtually worship and know that, however we choose to bow before God, God is there. And that is enough.