It’s the last Sunday of the year 2020. The year that rocked our whole world with all of the craziness that happened.
After eight months of Zoom church services, our pastor finally decided to hold physical church services in our old tabernacle, days after our local government placed our city in MGCQ, the lowest level of Philippine COVID protocols.
With safety protocols in place, we held our last Sunday of the year in our church. Though not fully physical, being half of the members in Zoom and the other half in the tabernacle, it was a huge blessing to me to finally sit again in our hard wooden pews. It made me think back to when our president placed the whole country in lockdown prohibiting huge gatherings, including church services, to be conducted. That was March 16, 2020. Immediately, our pastor called an emergency meeting to talk about a solution on how we can continue our worship service. Members who have technical and computer-related gifts shine and gave options for the men of the church to consider.
I, who witnessed it all, know that it is not without difficulties. We tackled security, sounds, and teaching the aged people how to use the video conferencing applications. It made me think, did COVID really hampered the preaching of the Word of God, or did it show the resiliency of Christian people to continue holding church services?
I read somewhere that the greatest blessing and curse of humankind is their ability to adjust to any situation. There might be some growing pains, but surely and definitely, humans will adjust. That’s what happens when COVID erupted. People adjust and evolve. Laptops, microphones, and webcams were bought to accommodate faster video feed, better sound quality, and clearer video. Internet upgrade was even the trend to avoid people dropping from Zoom calls.
Is Zoom a blessing or a curse? Oh my! For me, it’s a blessing. I thank the Lord for creating the person who invented the Internet and for the brains who made video conferencing a possibility. We wouldn’t have been able to continue our services if there were no programs like Zoom.
But it can also turn to be a curse in our life. Holding church services in our home gave us comfort and distractions, making it difficult for people to listen. You not only fight sleep and hunger, the usual things you fight in a church service, but distractions from crossing out the things-to-do list in the house was also added.
Let’s admit it, me and you are a victim of this. Worshipping God and listening to the speaker became a continuous fight to really listen. It’s a fight to dress modestly from head to toe, it’s a fight to sit properly, it’s a fight to stop thinking about your endless task that needs to be done around the house. It became a conscious and continuous fight to really LISTEN.
So, am I happy that we are now gathering and conducting physical church services? Oh yes! I cannot express how grateful I am for Zoom for making our services continue even when COVID rages on but, I think, we are becoming too comfortable in our online Zoom services.
Here are five question before I finally end:
Did we become too comfortable that we are already making CoViD an excuse so that we can continue “worshipping” in the comforts of our own home with the video turned off?
Will we be strong enough to fight our fears of CoViD so that we can worship the Old-Fashioned way again?
This is a new level of war against Satan’s temptations on destroying our relationship with the Lord, the local church, and our heart on worshipping the holy God.
Is worshipping downgraded to “just listening” or are we still going to practice actual face to face worship?
Are we going to be fear-oriented or comfort-oriented always?
Is the hindrance greater than the cause?