Monday, December 21, 2009

What to Do When Church Gets Cancelled

It does appear that we will be having a “white” Christmas this year. It would be hard to imagine all of this snow melting before Christmas and there is always a possibility that more might be falling next week. It appears that just about every church had to cancel its services on December 20th and some had low attendance on Dec. 6th and Dec. 13thdue to less-than-perfect weather. One might wonder why the Lord sends snow on Sunday in the first place. Doesn’t the Lord know we need the offerings to make the end-of-the-year budget? Doesn’t the Lord care that people tend NOT to make up their offerings as much the following week when weather is more favorable? Didn’t the Lord see all of these cantatas and pageants we had been practicing? What do we do when church gets cancelled?

We thank God! Ephesians 5:20 says to “Give thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thanking God in all things is a prayer of faith, faith that trusts where you cannot see, for the provisions that will come from a faithful God.

We still have worship! You don’t have to physically go to church for worship. Worship can happen in your homes. One family is gathering their neighbors into their homes this morning for worship because their church is closed. Another church is holding services at 4 pm because it is likely that the snow will be cleared by then. Some churches offer internet worship where the pastor’s sermon can be viewed live using Skype technology. If you can’t do any of that then you can hold worship by yourself or with whoever is in your house. Sing familiar hymns, pray, read the scripture and give testimony of what God has done for you! Christians are not the same as children who get out of school work when snow cancels school. Worship is a relationship with a living God, a joyful, important, life-giving, soul-feeding experience. We don’t skip it because the doors of the church are closed. We continue the worship where we are. The Spirit of the Lord is not only present in our stone structures. God lives in your heart.

Give your tithes and offerings! Giving offering is not dependent on being in a pew when an offering plate is passed. Giving money is the barometer of your heart! It is a gift of devotion that we give out of love for Christ. If we only give when we are in the pew, then that makes worship comparable to a spectator sport or going to the movies. A relationship with a living God requires a response and giving of our wealth is a vital part of that response. Holding back our money is a sign of spiritual immaturity and it means that you are in the driver’s seat of your life and not God.

Enjoy the snow! Thank God for next year’s harvest that snow is preparing us for! Worship God! Give from your heart! Be blessed!

Bishop Peggy A. Johnson

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