No Church till Summer

At the time of writing, following government advice, churches have ceased physical meetings.

The freedom of assembly - which we take for granted, and for which people gave their lives, has been voluntarily suspended to safeguard the health of our communities and congregations.

It's raised interesting questions : theological, ecclesiastical and - for those of us suddenly having to livestream – decidedly technical!

Meetings have been replaced with live or recorded videos and conference calls.

For Christians, being unable to use our church buildings is ultimately not a hindrance - they're just bricks and mortar - a convenient, and hopefully comfortable, place to meet.

They're not actually the church. A church is the people who make up a particular congregation. The Church, capital C, is made up of every Christian believer, alive or dead.

However, there's another implication: if the church is the people, and the people can't meet, then until we can meet again, whatever we do on a Sunday, it isn't, properly speaking, church. The word “church” translates a Biblical Greek word, “ekklesia” - which means “ gathering, assembly, congregation.”

We're very grateful to worship together, or apart, on a Sunday, but there's a real difference between virtual “meetings,” and actually gathering together.

We can really lament, because we miss each other.

We're grateful for the technology, but like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell sang, “Ain't nothing like the real thing.”

We long for the day when we can actually meet for real.

If you've been part of digital meetings, but haven't tried it in person ... once churches start meeting again, I heartily recommend you join us.

Ole K Hunt

Grace Baptist Church