The Great Commandment states, “‘Love the Lord your God’... ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’” (Matt. 22:37-39).
During this COVID-19 pandemic, one way we have expressed love for ourselves is by doing what we can to protect ourselves from getting infected. In the same way, one way we expressed love for our neighbour was in doing what we could to protect them from getting infected.
In the last few months, this pandemic has dramatically changed our lives and turned our world upside down. The pain and anxieties it has caused around us are real. Additionally, as Christians we have grieved the inability to meet in person with our church communities. We have deeply desired to gather again. However, we have considered how to do so in safe ways that consider our most vulnerable neighbours and have not wanted to fuel the spread of COVID-19.
It is important for us to remember that the Church never actually closed, just the doors to our buildings. As Christ’s disciples, we have learnt to live out our calling to worship, pray, encourage, witness, disciple, and serve in creative ways that minimized the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
We have gone online, moved our small group meetings and mainly music to Zoom, and found new ways to love our neighbours. We are still the people of God; we—not our buildings—are the real church.
Now, we enter a new phase of COVID-19, as restrictions loosen, and businesses begin to reopen.
Our churches have faced a set of difficult decisions: when to resume in-person worship, and how to carry out this safely. We at Carlingford have all our safe COVID practices in place and when we meet in the next few weeks, we will do so mindfully, carefully and thankfully.
The COVID-19 pandemic in its present form, will pass. One day we’ll look back on this time and see clearly that God was with us and was working in our midst for good.
We will continue to Pray for God’s guidance.