As we head into the throes of another lockdown and new rules, what in the world is there to be thankful for? How can never going out to eat, not having people over for Thanksgiving, Saturday nights, or not being able to sing at church make us thankful?
Yes, that’s true, the new rules for churches are essentially the same as before EXCEPT we can no longer have congregational singing. Ugh! When I first heard it I was poised, and even told the other pastors, that I am ready to not abide by that one. I began to feel like this is where the state is mandating what worship is about and what we need to understand is a constitutionally protect freedom of worship.
Yet, I am reminded of Matt Redman’s song, “When the Music Fades.” Worship is more than a song, it’s all about Jesus. I can still worship, even if I cannot sing.
Okay, so I dislike the lockdown rules. I dislike the way they are applied. But I can still worship. I can still see Jesus and still spend time worshipping Him.
Philippians 4:4–7 (NIV) 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I can still go into this Thanksgiving season with praise and thanks on my lips. I don’t have to like everything that happens, but I do have the ability to still worship, still think through my praise and to be thankful. I’m still able to worship.
Things I’m headed into Thanksgiving season remembering:
- God the Father
- The Holy Spirit
- My wife!
- Adventist Community Church
- Pastoral Staff
- many, many more things if I kept going….
You don’t have to like the masks, the lockdown, the restrictions, the virus to still be thankful. You may be hurting in many ways right now, unrelated to anything in this post. But you can still choose to be thankful. My family has taken a 14 day challenge to not speak anything negative or critical for 14 days and if we do, we have to start over…. Today is a new day to be thankful!