I admit it. I am a creature of habit.
I have my way of doing things and I tend to stick with what I know. None of my habits are harmful. A bit odd, yes. Harmful, no.
Just the other day, one of my habits made me think about something that is really important to me.
It was Sunday. I was not leading a live service. Since the outbreak of COVID all of our worship is pre-recorded. When COVID began, I would record the service during the week. It would be broadcast on a Sunday at 10am on Zoom. I would always watch the service with the rest of the congregation every Sunday. It was the closest we could get to normal Church.
As time has moved on, things have changed. I still record a service, but now it is available online from Saturday evening until Tuesday.
For some reason, the habit I began of watching the service at 10am on a Sunday, I have stuck with. Even though I can watch at any time I want to, I still press play at 10am.
This Sunday was going to be a bit of a challenge. I had quite a few things to do. I got up earlier than normal. I decided that I would watch the service at the early hour.
I then carried out my tasks. By coincidence, I found that they were finished at 10am.
What was I to do?
Should I get other tasks done?
Catch up on TV?
I did none of them.
Instead, I switched on my computer at 10am and I watched the service all over again!
I thought about it afterwards. I suppose it was, partly, out of habit. But, it was also something I did because, one of the things I value in Church life is fellowship. There is something incredibly special knowing that other people were doing exactly the same thing at the same time.
In watching the service at 10am, I was saying something about the value I place on fellowship.
In many churches, fellowship has become nothing more than a cup of tea, biscuit and a chat after a service. It is more, much more than that.
Fellowship is about being together. It is about our mutual support of one another. It is about standing with one another because of the common ground we share in Christ.
Real fellowship with one another helps us to grow in our faith. It is when we share our stories, experiences and understanding with each other, that we learn how God can and does work in peoples’ lives.
Fellowship is something we can take for granted. We expect others to be there for us in our hour of need. We should ask ourselves are we there for them? With apologies to JFK,
Ask not what your Church does for you, but what you can do for your Church
The writer of Ecclesiastes puts it much better when they say;
By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped. (Ecclesiastes 4 vs. 12 – The Message)
How are you helping to build to real fellowship in our current situation?