I’ve seen some reports in the media that Holy Week and Easter are “interrupted” or “cancelled” or somehow their arrival has been put in doubt. What many do not fully understand, even some “in the church,” is that “church” is not a building. When the church building is closed because we are trying to keep our friends and neighbors safe from the coronavirus, some mistakenly believe that “church” is not happening. But “church” is the body of Christ, it is a congregation of people of faith, and a life of faith is not dependent on some bricks and mortar. [And I would say the same is true for our Jewish and Muslim friends, as well as folks of any faith tradition.]
Yes, having a building does facilitate us gathering, worshipping, communing over coffee and donuts, having Sunday School, offering a space for community groups to meet, doing mission and ministry, etc. But we are a people of faith, we are a church family, we are answering the call to love God and love neighbor, even when we cannot gather in-person on a Sunday morning. We are gathering virtually for worship, prayer, bible study, and meetings. We are calling, writing, texting, emailing, IM-ing each other to support one another. We are running errands for those who cannot get out. We are praying for one another and our community and all those sick and all those helping and putting themselves at risk in their essential work. We are continuing to advocate for the poor, the disenfranchised, the oppressed, those suffering injustice, those excluded, those marginalized. Some even worked the polls on Tuesday in WI’s ill-advised in-person election that put so many at risk, so that others more vulnerable could be safe and folks could vote.
The church is open for business, even if our building is closed. It is the nature of church, when it lives up to its calling — not a building, but a community of faith, a compassionate and caring group of people, young and old, rich and poor, a wondrously diverse family of folks who love God and love neighbor, in word and in deed. Brick and mortar not required.
Peace and blessings,