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Core 52: Chapter 29 - Rest

Blog – Week 29: Rest – March 24, 2020
Sunday was a big day in the history of Englewood CC! It was the first ever “virtual” worship service in our church’s history!  What an exciting example of the faithfulness and tenacity of God’s people to overcome many obstacles and still worship God in and with their faith community.  It was a true blessing to read comments, emails, messages, texts and more as people shared with us their experiences from Sunday’s worship experience.

One of the biggest observations I took away from our worship experience was the flexibility everyone conveyed as they “threw out” the normal expectations of a Sunday morning worship experience and “went with the flow” of making the best they could out of a difficult situation.  It was fun to hear of all the locations where people gathered for worship as a family or on their own – living room couch, kitchen table, recliner chair, bed, back porch and more! It was also interesting to see how everyone handles communion.  We were not able to pass the trays and partake of the emblems of the Lord’s Supper like we usually do, but our faith community rose to the occasion and honored God in the process. Some had grape juice, some had cranberry juice, some had grape flavored Powerade, while others had to use orange soda or grape Kool-aid.  For the bread, some used pita bread or tortillas, while others used a regular slice of bread or a cracker.  Again, flexible and resourceful.

Sunday was a great example of one of the principles we learn in Scripture about the Sabbath.  Mr. Moore, in our CORE 52 reading for this week, spends a lot of time explaining the purpose of the Sabbath, but I will summarize it by quoting Jesus when he says, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27).  Jesus’ main thrust of that teaching was to get rid of all the regulations and rules that had been created to treat the Sabbath as a way to record righteous deeds rather than rest and worship.

Sunday, we got to put aside our traditions that we may inadvertently get too accustomed to and just focus on the Creator and Savior.  We were not distracted by our seat location or the volume of the sound in the room. We could not complain about the off key singer beside you (unless that was your spouse next to you on the couch!), nor could we focus on our church attire and the attire of others who gathered with us.  We could not even be distracted by the clanking of the communion trays as they were passed by quickly or the giggling of the young person behind you when they accidentally spilled their juice.  So many of those things that have become a part of our habits, customs and dare I say, rituals, were completely cast aside, and we were forced to make the most of our circumstances.  We were blessed to simply “come as we are” and worship the King, honoring Him through “teaching, the breaking of bread fellowship {yes, even without friendship time, we experienced fellowship!} and prayer.”

Sunday was a day full of new experiences in regards to our worship practices, habits and rituals. My prayer for all of us is that today is a day full of new experiences that lead us to new levels of faith as we pursue Christ no matter the circumstances. Remember, our level of faith does not impact God’s power. He is just as powerful today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow. What does change is how much more in love we are with Him each day!  Let us be sure we have cast aside our human desires and genuinely turned our attention toward Christ, the one who holds all things together!

- Pete Ramsey