This weekend is our national celebration of Memorial Day. It is a weekend that people traditionally … (how shall I say this?) … don’t necessarily make worship a part of their itinerary. Outdoor activities, get-togethers with family, and travel frequently diminish participation in Sunday gatherings. And that’s fine; I’m certainly not bashing the occasional three-day weekend spent connecting with our families!
But I’m just wondering about this Sunday, coming at the end of a week in which our neighbors in Joplin, across the state, and throughout the region have been devastated by especially harsh weather. 125 have been confirmed dead in Joplin, and 232 are unaccounted for. The number of injuries is staggering. The destruction of property is mind-boggling. We are shaken, stricken, and scared.
What better time to gather together to remember that God is good, all the time? How could there be a more opportune moment to affirm that the Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love? When else would it be more appropriate for us to reaffirm Christ’s call to help those who need help and truly love our neighbors as ourselves?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if sanctuaries across the nation were filled to overflowing this Sunday morning? If people travelling made a point to find the nearest church so that they could go to worship? If people with guests would bring their guests to worship with them instead of using them as an excuse to be somewhere else?
Wouldn’t it be great if followers of Jesus gathered in record numbers this weekend to proclaim one gigantic NO! - the devastation of this world is not the end of the story! There is more!
Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Church assembled for worship this weekend with no regard at all for denomination or congregation, but simply and powerfully as the body of Christ, affirmed an enormous YES! - There is hope! There is resurrection! There is life!
This started out as an email to the people of Campbell UMC to encourage them to be at worship this weekend, but it has become a bit more than that, I suppose. My hope is that all who are reading this, wherever you are, will go to church this Sunday and worship God with as much passion, energy, and devotion as ever. No, with even more!
God is good! ALL the time!