This editorial from the New York Times troubled me, and so I thought I would share my opinion about it, since Tish Harrison Warren shared hers. Simply said, the way to love God and our neighbors is to meet God and our neighbors wherever they are and to love God in our neighbors at all times.
I offer you an email I wrote to a congregation in England at the beginning of 2021, a Body of Christ that took me in during the pandemic, on zoom that is. I urge you to notice the great love and compassion that existed in that congregation. How in the world can I ever turn my back on that. It will always be a part of my journey, and now going on two years I never want to leave them. Stopping online services would end this beautiful relationship.
"At one point on the zoom call today, I realized we in the US have been worshiping with you for nine months. And I had a sense of longevity, fullness, and gratitude. I thought, "Oh my, this seems normal and necessary." I am not sure it will ever really end!
Reflecting on nine months makes me think about that length of time in terms of human gestation and the complete human that is born at the end of that time. So you both have created a complete Body of Christ, by doing all the wonderful things the people in the service pointed out today.
With your patience, kindness, grace, inclusivity and love, you brought us together in a time when we were all feeling rather disconnected. In fact, it occurred to me today that you have been like the Holy Spirit, God moving among us, inspiring us and soothing us. We sang, laugh, prayed, cried and reflected, and we almost lost sight of the fact that we were not actually in person!
Out of your gift and inspiration has come relationships that have grown into discipleship groups and bible studies, prayer groups that hold each other in love and confidence, and good old fashioned friendships that might just last forever.
You have been like midwives for us, and for that I give you deep and abiding thanksgiving.
I look forward to what is to come next and how all you have given and done will be made manifest in the church at large, as you so wisely asked our friends to reflect on.
I am sure we will all look forward to the first Sundays of the month, but I suspect what we do for God in between those Sundays will always be influenced by the valuable time we spent with you two in our zoom church. God's peace to you both and to each of you I have copied on this email. I am sure I speak for you as I give abundant thanks for our zoom midwives and the great joy they brought to all of us during what could have been such a frightening time.
Please let's not end opportunities to worship and be the Body of Christ online. I would welcome your thoughts about this.