Wow… I forgot what Mother’s Day meant last year (2019) for us here on Camp Walker in Daegu, South Korea. It meant “goodbye” to the on-post church worship service I called my home since committing to a church after moving here from the United States due to the military. We weren’t meant to continue growing in the way we thought as Mother’s Day 2019 was the last day of the 5pm POTR (Peace On The Rock) service. (Final church service is here. A Night of Worship, recorded March 17, 2019, is here.) Instead, we were all being “sent out” (in a way) to rediscover what it meant to be ‘the church.’
To tell you the truth, it has been a long, difficult journey.
Even now, one year later on Mother’s Day 2020, I found myself reminding my children that watching church service online due to #covid19 #socialdistancing restrictions wasn’t really ‘the church’ in response to my daughter’s irritated comments that seemed like since she was present and the church service was on the TV that that was enough. Um, no… that’s not quite “church.”
I know church is not limited by a specific location (like a building or a house) but there is something about gathering together as one body that is important. WE (the people) are the church and so no matter where we are and despite the limitations that we might face– we can still be intentional in doing what we can to be an active church member.
During this time, For me and my household (my children and I) Church means:
✨If our church “home” airs live – we watch live and comment our support in the stream.
✨When the live-stream is over we have conversation about what we heard and experienced. Each of us will either share points that stood out to us, give ONE TAKE-AWAY we want to remember, share a summary of the message or ask questions that came up from what we heard and saw. Basically, we find ways to engage with what we heard. My kids don’t naturally do this; I set the example by asking questions and offering my thoughts right after the online church message ends. (I’ve had to catch myself with finding fault and making corrections about things that are said. We talked about those things too. “When should we ask the Pastor about questionable things I heard them say?” “I’m sure he would want to know,” my son offers. We conclude that if it’s not a major point, then maybe it doesn’t need to be said. To which my daughter says, “Well what is a major point?”… Conversation and discussion is good. I want my children to think about what they heard. I did tell them that I asked myself, ‘what is in my heart? Am I looking for corrections or is what I am sensing simply a call to pray more for my pastor?’)
✨We take time to pray about what we heard because we want God to continue to mold and shape us. This Sunday was the first time we had a short time of silence to give time for the message to sink in, for God to respond and for each one of us to form our own thoughts. We only did this for a minute or two (I know my “great ideas” as mom aren’t always well received but I pray that they will continue this time of reflecting later on their own as well.) It has become a little habit to immediately quarterback what we just heard and I wanted to give God the opportunity to speak to us first so we had a moment of quiet. We also pray about the church service as leaders continue to assess and prepare how best to open up with the required safety measures in place for the people. We prayed for the Pastor and his preparations for the following week that he would accurately share the Word in boldness and Truth, we pray for his leadership, and we pray that people would prepare themselves to be ready to be more involved and engaged with others, from the heart, IN PERSON.
✨ I reiterate and prepare my children for the future, that we are moving towards in-person fellowship with other believers in the local church. The greatest commandment, Jesus responded when asked was to Love God and to Love your neighbor. God cares about people – all people – and He sacrificially gave Himself up for people. We as Christians follow His example. I know that dealing with people is a lot of work or it can be depending on who is involved (help us Lord). I also know that my heart is not where it should be all the time; I am not God. But God is able to help me with this if I am willing to be helped and to do the work of coming back to Him over and over when I see that I have fallen short. I am willing and I want to change and I set the example for my children to follow. So, to prepare them for our future gatherings again, I remind them that we are going to show up, IN PERSON, as soon as we are able to even though we have gotten used to just tuning in, in accordance to our own schedule. We will find our places in which each one of us can serve because it is a privilege to be able to worship together, encourage and sharpen one another, stretch and grow from our times together. I want to use the gifts that God has given me to help serve the church. We each have something to offer according to 1 Corinthians 12 and are advised to do so in love according to 1 Corinthians 13. So we pray that God would help us to have the right attitudes and in the right spirit, with joy and faith we would point others to Him. He is the source of my hope! I let my children know this, in various ways, so that they are ready (and I am reminded) for when the time comes.
So what about you?
As we think about what we have missed in this time of physical separation or what we want to be intentional and seek more of… what are some lessons that you don’t want to to forget as you move forward?
I have learned a lot about church this year from one Mother’s Day to another (and I’ve only mentioned just a few things)!!! I don’t want to forget these lessons and start to take for granted that we are indeed A PART of the BODY. We are not the whole thing, we are a part and we need one another to be whole. “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” 1 Cor 12:27
I pray that even as we all might not be able to physically come together as we used to at the moment, we can still be intentional about the love and the care that we have for the other members of the body. (1 Cor 12:25-26) And we can pray that God will help change our hearts if we aren’t there yet! Confession: I know I am continuing to bring my requests before the Lord as there are things that are beyond my will and power to make happen, but I know, that HE CAN.
Would you share with me what you are doing for yourself and your children regarding church? I’d love to hear what resonated with you and how #beingthechurch works out in your life. May we continue to encourage one another through His truth today. 💓 (Hebrews 10:23-25)
'Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. ' Hebrews 10:23-25 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/HEB.10.23-25
#wearethechurch #onebodymanymembers #Godisbiggerthanxyz #alothashappened #beholdiamdoinganewthing #iamstilldoingnewthings #Godatwork #teachthenextgeneration #donotforget #whatlessonsareyoulearning
You can listen to my We all have something to offer |Cambodia 2019 talk to the PWOC ladies after returning from my second trip to Cambodia by clicking on the link here.
Looking for a Bible Study to watch and reflect on during this time? Try these: https://sejanashines.com/2020/03/07/bible-time-worship-every-episode-summary/