The Holy Spirit is conceiving new life and needs a partner. The Church, the body of Christ, is called to be born again and again and again. May we be a body in the infancy of innovative growth, a body vulnerable and yet powerful as the Church enters an unknown future full of new possibilities.
I come from people who had to “steal away” to worship God. Slaveowners could not prevent my ancestors from worshiping God and caring for others. No politician in the current version of U.S. slavocracy will do so.
If the church is truly committed to the “care of souls,” then my physical absence on Sundays is not a test of faith, it’s an affirmation of faith and life. If God really is present everywhere, and if churches continue to offer worship online, then so be it. The Spirit knows where to find me, wherever I am.
“I have to ask myself: am I doing anything I was called to do when I became a pastor?”
President Trump is running scared, and understandably so. His press room appearance to demand the reopening of houses of worship is proof positive. Without the so-called white evangelical vote, he has no chance at reelection.
The face mask debate among Christ followers amid a devastating global pandemic demands that we think deeply about what outward signs signify about inward spiritual grace. I have come to view wearing a protective mask as a spiritual practice.
Amid the widening divisions and deepening polarization in every area of life, we can make choices that are intended to bring people together rather than push them farther away.
Amid discussions about the practice of “virtual communion” in these extraordinary times, we commend an ancient Christian practice that may be relevant for churches today, especially for those that have decided they cannot celebrate communion virtually.
I find myself in awe of the clergy and laity offering frontline care of souls in response to COVID-19, lovingly creating ministry alternatives, even from a distance. While these acts of selflessness are themselves a dramatic sign of spiritual renewal, sobering trends confront America’s churches.