These are words from the first hymn in our Hymnal Worship Book. They reminds us that God is present wherever we are.
Recall the story of Jacob in Genesis 28:10-22 where he lies down with only a stone for a pillow and dreams. God promises to be with him and to keep him. And when Jacob awakes he says, “Surely the Lord is in this place.” Jacob wandered, but God was with him wherever he went.
The people of God have worshiped in many places: basements, upper rooms, catacombs and caves, around kitchen tables, in school rooms, inside and outside. I think about how the early Anabaptists needed to find alternative places to gather, as did the Ethiopian Christians in the 1980’s. And yet they grew in faith and numbers. There was no need to meet in the buildings built as churches. They created holy spaces where ever they were and met God there.
Today we have to find our own sacred spaces in our homes and fields. We do not gather in that building in Elbing we call church. Yet we are still the church. We still worship God. God is still present with us.
I miss the congregational singing, and the informal conversations and seeing people. This is not what I expected to happen in Spring. So much has been canceled or changed. Yet God is still in our midst.
Let me end with a quote from David Brubaker: “Perhaps the greatest takeaway from our current virtual reality is that we were never meant primarily to attend a congregation, but to be a congregation. In this crisis time, we can explore more deeply what it means to be a congregation. After all, what is a “congregation” but a group of human beings who “congregate” periodically, to connect with and encourage one another—and then to scatter once again…to love and to serve.”