Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.28.21)

I need to squelch a rumor. Parkway Baptist Church has not been closed for the past fifteen months. 

We have been out in the world where the Church of Christ is always supposed to be, bearing witness to what God has done for us and what God’s presence can do in the life of anyone who asks. We have been ministering to the last, the lost, and the least through our generous missions offerings and through the kindnesses and ministries of individual members to their friends and neighbors.

We have been steadfast in prayer, both through our individual petitions and in our Midweek Prayer Service. Through our weekly Zoom call we have kept up with the needs of members and others as you have brought them to the attention of all of us.

We have been consistent in worship. For a while, in order to minimize risk, we gathered singly or in small groups to participate in interactive worship. Many of you have told me how, while recognizing this approach is not ideal, it meant so much to you to feel connected with one another though separated by distance and to have a regular opportunity for devotions. Then, when we were told that it was safe to worship together (if outside and social distancing), we gladly joined together in worship in the parking lot. That bit of asphalt became sacred space as we got to see one another and truly worship together. The experience has been even better the last couple of weeks as we took off our masks and got to see each other’s faces.

And now we re-enter the sanctuary. I’m sure that, with the weather heating up, just the ability to have air conditioning will be enough of a cause for rejoicing, but being back in our “home” will also make us glad. We all know that God is everywhere, but like the ancient Israelites who located God’s presence especially in the temple, we associate the physical location of our sanctuary with many memories of powerful experiences with the divine, even as we anticipate more to come.

I hope you will join us this Sunday. But if you can’t, you can watch the live stream on our Facebook page or on our website later. Remember that we will continue to meet at 10 a.m. Those who are not fully vaccinated are asked to wear masks, and, of course, anyone who feels more comfortable wearing one may certainly do so. 

I am praying that we will not feel that we have returned to “normal,” but that we will come back inside with a renewed sense of purpose, a determination to appreciate our opportunities for worship more fully, and a desire to know what new things God has in store for us. Come back inside and see what God will do.