When you look at this picture what do you see? It depends upon your perspective. Right?
You have probably had this discussion with someone. Typically, the answer is either the glass is half-empty or the glass is half-full. The ‘half-empty’ person gets labeled a pessimist, because they see what is lacking.The ‘half-full’ person gets labeled an optimistic, because they see room to be filled.
Are those the only options? Might there be a third perspective. Sure… Maybe, it is just a glass of water. You are thirsty and you drink it.
Perspective matters. It influences our thoughts, feelings, and our relationships. Our perspective changes over time through personal experience, influential persons, books, movies, and our faith. Who I am today is not who I was at 20, 30, and even 40… Thanks be to God.
How about you? In what ways have your perspectives changed over the years? Has your perspective of others, neighbor, friends, and family changed? Has your perspective of who God is and who you are changed?
Going through major life changes, traumatic & difficult seasons of life or joyful adventures & new beginnings, alters our perspective.
How has COVID-19 changed your perspective? Are you able to see changes in yourself or how you see the world and others? Has your perspective on faith, God, or Church changed?
One of our friends shared that before COVID-19, she always spoke about going to church as ‘going to God’s house.’ Worship, praise, and prayer was something done at church, at God’s house. But now, as she has worshiped for 13 weeks from her house, she said, My house is God’s house! God is present in my home, we pray more together, and church isn’t about a place I go, but a way of living.
I long to be back to in person worship with you. I miss our weekly praise, worship, and reflection in community. Our Bishop has not yet given us permission to meet in person in our buildings. But, that does not keep us from worshiping together. You can worship with members of your Sunday School class, neighbors, and friends from God’s house, from your house!
I challenge you to consider, if you feel comfortable and are not high risk for COVID – 19, to invite others to join you for worship. Invite people who come to your house already to experience worshiping God in your home.
So, if you are missing physical community and can’t wait to be in person worshiping with others, I challenge you inviting others to worship with you.
Here are a couple examples:
If you are high risk and physically distancing all the time:
– Start a watch party and invite neighbors and friends to watch with you. Then set a time during the day on Sunday or during the week to discuss the message.
If you are attending small group gathering or with family (Not in High Risk Category):
– Invite another family, relative, or neighbor to worship with you in person. They can join you and worship on your back patio, by the pool, in your living room or dinning room.
– You can watch live or at time that works best, and share a meal together in a safe environment.
How is your perspective changing? Is the only option for worship virtual or in person in the church building? Are there other practical perspectives of how we can worship, stay connected, and invite others even in the midst of this global pandemic?
I challenge you to look at things with new perspectives… Join us on Sunday as we start a new sermon series, LENSES; as we look into the future and how God calls us, through our baptism into a new life, with new eyes and perspectives on our life, the world around us, and how we are called to live.
I look forward to hearing how your perspective is changing through COVID-19 and how Jesus is at work. See you online!
See you in worship this Sunday!
Rev. Rodney Whitfield
Senior Pastor, Aldersgate UMC