The other night I spent several hours deliberating and discussing with my church board concerning what re-opening the doors of our institution was going to look like.
On one hand, we had the stipulations outlined by the Government of Saskatchewan with regards to COVID19 safety precautions, and on the other we had the guidelines given to us by our administration.
Perhaps you may be able to relate to this experience. We had to make sure we had the proper signage, that sanitizer was available as well as directional arrows. We also had to make sure that our seating was appropriately arranged at safe distances. Even though our services are somewhat different than prior to this pandemic, I am still encouraged. Despite the social distancing, the covering of faces, it feels good to be back.
I am not going to dispute whether or not people should go to church right now, especially if they are in a vulnerable category or are in other situations that prevent them from attending our public gatherings. I believe that this virus is real, and that God has given us wisdom to worship in a safe manner and that we should use this wisdom to the best of our ability. But one thing I can say about being able to worship publicly again is that I truly enjoyed it and I appreciate it even more than ever.
As we reopen our churches, it reminds me of the time when the Children of Israel came back from their years in exile in Babylon. God’s temple had been lying in ruins for 70 years because their enemies destroyed it. After they rebuilt it and dedicated it, the second dedication was not as appealing as the first.
During the first dedication, there was a visible manifestation of the supernatural power of God. There was a cloud of glory that filled the sanctuary. There was a fire that came from Heaven that consumed the sacrifice that was on the altar. The second dedication didn’t look as glorious as the first. However, despite these shortcomings, the prophet Haggai said something remarkable about this building.
“The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former…” Haggai 2:9.
Indeed he was right. The glory of this temple did become greater because centuries later Jesus graced this building with His personal presence through His earthly ministry of teaching and healing. His presences in this temple allowed its glory to exceed the first.
As we return to our churches, things may not be the same as it was before, however, Jesus is going to be with us just as much as He was when He was in this second temple in the flesh. Because of this, we know that our worship and our fellowship will be just as glorious as it was before this pandemic. All we need to do is to continue to place our trust in His hands!
Dear friends and readers, it is with a heavy heart that I am letting you know that this will be the last article that I will be writing on behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Humboldt as well as our blessed Humboldt Ministerial.
I have been transferred by my organization to Yorkton where I will be ministering there as well as to several congregations in the nearby area. It has been truly a blessing working in collaboration with the Humboldt Journal as well as living and getting to know the wonderful people in this city.
You will always be in my heart and I will keep you in my prayers. Blessings to all of you.