Unexpected Worship
October 24, 2020, 8:00 AM

Have you ever had a day where unexpected things happen? Have you ever been in the middle of a pandemic and something unexpected happened? Wait, that is what we have been living through for months now. At Fountain City United Methodist Church, some of the staff called this “just keep dancing”. But then we got tired, so we moved into calling it “just keep adapting”. I’m not sure where we are at the moment, maybe working our way back, but from where to what? God has been, is and will be present when we gather to worship even from a screen. We hoped that when we gathered to worship on July 5, this would be a sign of the return to in-person worship. It lasted one Sunday. We danced, adapted, kept working, and finally we gathered to worship on September 27. God has been at FCUMC, is at FCUMC, and will continue to work with the body of Christ as we seek to enter into worship again, whenever you feel it is safe for you and your family to return. Due to the dancing, changing, adapting, and hard work, we had Traditional Worship at 8:30am and scheduled a crucifer and an acolyte. In the middle of the first two parts of the service as we must limit music and singing, it was noticeable that the crucifer and acolyte had not entered worship. Pastor Tom did well to dance and adapt as he invited us to have a prayerful moment of silence while the cross that our savior was crucified upon and the light representing our savior as the light of the world was brought forth. I tried to bow my head, but I was unable. Instead, I focused upon the cross and the light, and in the length of the walk and time that it took. While this was happening, I wept, and remembered the words “How Long O Lord, shall we wait, how long did we sit at the bank of the riverside and weep?” Folks, how long have we waited to be present in worship? What have we seen? Where have we seen Jesus? And how have we changed for God’s glory? The waiting, the dancing, and the adapting together as the body of Christ at FCUMC has ended. BUT have we been changed? We have built our personal relationship with God. We have lost loved ones. We have mourned. We have worn masks. We have cared for our neighbors. We have isolated from our neighbors. We have seen fire, wind, and rain. We have experienced civil unrest and division. We are having a presidential election. Through all of this, God was present. He did not abandon us just because the church building was abandoned. God did not forsake us. God has been before us, with us, and will be as we move forward. How will we as disciples changing lives seek God, be present in the called body of Christ, and work for the Kingdom? Gracious Lord, let it not be a surprise that you show up. May we respond differently this time to your presence and calling upon our lives. Amen.