On from my previous post, I just wanted to add a little more in light of the updated guidance from the Church of England (which I know is a specific example, but also possibly indicative…)
In this they say that the:
Church of England strictly observes the new guidelines on staying at home and only making journeys that are absolutely necessary, such as shopping for essential items and to take daily exercise.
Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own.
This only reinforces my sense that the response is unbalanced, focused on the secular response and not properly considering things of eternal value. Daily exercise is essential, but a spiritual response can be put aside.
To be clear – I do not think church buildings are an essential part of the Church’s mission – we are the people of Christ, not the buildings! That said, they serve as a nexus, and to completely close them to any activity says something.
As I said to someone recently, my hearts’ cry, or perhaps the Lords’ cry within my heart, is that we mourn what is removed from us in this season. That we understand at a gut level the blessing and precious value of ekklesia worship and communion with Him! I am desperate to hear, for the Lord to hear, how much we value that and how much it costs us to lose that for a season.
That for me is what is missing in what I hear from the Church.