WOW!!! How great was it to be back at church last Sunday?
After 9 weeks with no "in person" church, it was a special time for us to gather back together and worship as the body of believers we know as West Pines Baptist Church.
But coming together at this time is not for everybody. So, please know that I am encouraging you to be smart about coming to church. If you are at all concerned, please stay at home and watch our livestream on the church facebook page or on our website at westpineschurch.com.
About 100 years or so ago, when I was in seminary, I was taking a Pastoral Counseling class. I remember the professor speaking of the importance of security and significance in marriage and parent-child relationships. This idea of security and significance has, over the years, become a key element in my counseling.
When marriages are on the rocks, I often ask one or both of the spouses, "Do you feel secure and significant in your marriage relationship?" The answer often reveals a lot.
When children are struggling with their identity or their place in this world, I often ask them, "Do you feel secure in being loved by your parents?" Once again, the answer often reveals a lot.
Contrast: to compare in order to show unlikeness or differences; note the opposite natures, purposes.
There is a lot of "contrast" in the ways people have been (and will be) dealing with COVID-19.
There are a lot of different ways people have "social distanced".
Some of you haven't left your house since sometime around mid-March.
Some of you live with gloves and a face mask and don't take them off, EVER.
Some of you live with anxiety, fear, loneliness, and maybe even depression. (Note: I read today that the #1 "accompanying factor" in those who have died of COVID-19 is anxiety. Interesting . . .)
For some, your own personal health concerns or the concerns of your loved ones have dictated your level of social distancing and isolation.
For others, life hasn't really changed that much. You leave the house regularly for work and other "essential" things. You haven't worn gloves and only wear a face mask when public sentiment demands it. You have no anxiety and have actually enjoyed this down time of social distancing and have kept super busy accomplishing things that needed to be done.
If you had one opportunity to speak with your loved ones before never seeing them again, what would you say? Would you tell a joke? Would you talk about the weather, or sports, or work? I'm convinced that whatever you said would be important and heartfelt, not trivial.
In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus had one last opportunity to speak with his loved ones (disciples) before ascending into heaven. Do you know what he said?