“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.” Acts 2:42
2020, the Year of the Global Pandemic. The year in which churches were not allowed to hold public worship services. People had to be kept at a distance, socially speaking. The only people we could come within six feet of were those in our own homes. I’m sure in 100 years, COVID-19 will be relegated to the collective memories and in the history books, much like the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918.
Christians around the world have to make adjustments as we weren’t able to meet for public worship in the traditional sense. Frustrating, right?
And then in America, where we have it as our basic tenants to gather freely, so we are concerned about our rights being infringed upon. Frustrating, right?
And then there is the concern about the Third Commandment, “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy!” When God commands us to do something, it would behoove us to ignore it. Right?
And as regenerated baptized children of God, we long to be in Church, to honor the Sabbath, and to hear God’s Word being proclaimed. Right? That’s the preferred way! And honestly, it’s the best way. God made us social beings. He made us to gather together. Even sending Jesus in the flesh is prime example of the importance that God Himself wants to gather with us!
So in this broken world, riddled with disease, how can we be both a socially distant and keep God’s commandments, especially in regards to keeping the Sabbath Day holy?
Martin Luther gives us some sound thoughts on this:
For the Word of God is the sanctuary above all sanctuaries, yea, the only one which we Christians know and have . . . God’s word is the treasure which [makes everything holy] . . . At whatever hour, then, God’s Word is taught, preached, heard, read, or meditated upon, there the person, day, and work are [made holy], not because of the external work, but because of the Word. . . [A]ll our life and work must be ordered according to God’s Word, if it is to be God-pleasing or holy. Where this is done, this commandment is . . . being fulfilled.Martin Luther
That’s why it is important for us to be in God’s Word daily. This is way we at Redeemer value our worship services online. This is why we have Bible studies on Facebook. This is why it’s important for us to have regular daily personal and family devotions. This is how we can be like the early Christians and gather around the teaching of the Apostles, that is God’s Word.
Written By: Pastor Bartholomew