Note from Pastor Kevin about online worship
Friday, July 03, 2020
Worship During COVID, from Pastor Kevin:
I was reading Malachi 1 for my devotions. In this chapter God warns about offering Him fake worship; polluted worship; half-hearted worship. Our practice, if it is to be worship, must sacrificially give honor to the Name of the Lord, as well as our lives. In light of this I offer these pastoral guidelines for worship at New City in light of COVID-19.
- If you decide to attend worship at our church building; there is a small risk of infection. But risk nonetheless. We have followed medical guidelines to minimize the likelihood of anyone contracting COVID-19.
- Legitimate reasons not to come: You are at high risk health wise; You live with people at high risk; You are terrified and cannot come in faith. Faith is essential to worship at all times but especially in times of peril. Faith is not the absence of fear, it merely refuses to let fear have the last word.
- Illegitimate reasons not to come: You like comfort of worshipping at home in jammies. You believe home worship is just as authentic as gathered church worship. (Heb 10:23-25) Both equal spiritual laziness and put you at risk of spiritual disease.
- Worship at Home that is real: Remove all distractions. Don’t start and stop service because you have things to do. Set aside undisturbed time to meet with God and His people:
- Pray for the service
- Maybe get dressed for worship ( Sunday best?) Not pajamas. Take seriously the worship of the Lord in your home as you do in the church building.
- When you watch at home participate rather than critique. Watching worship is not the same as worship. We are not here to entertain you. Neil Postman “When you put religion on TV it becomes entertainment.” Don’t let this happen.
- Stand for reading of the Word
- Stand for singing (and sing)
- Have your Bible handy
- Pay very close attention to the Preaching of the Word.
These practices must reflect a heart that has been touched by the love of Christ. And now responds to Him in faith, love, hope, and fear.
All our worship is tainted. It is only accepted in Christ. But willfully polluted worship will receive the Lord’s discipline or judgment. Rejoice that God receives your worship through the forgiving love of Jesus, wherever you are. So “enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!”