Weekly Devotion 10-14-21

Weekly devotion with Kim Wu

“The first online worship service at CUMC was on Sunday, March 15th.”
That’s one of the first entries I made into a notebook I have kept during the pandemic. I’m not very successful at keeping a daily journal, but I wanted to document this unique experience of living through a pandemic, knowing that eventually the memories of this time will fade, but the things written down would bring me back to this time.
Two pages later, I wrote on March 22nd, “The hymn ‘You Are Mine’ brought me to cathartic tears during our second livestream worship service.”
That hymn begins with, “I will come to you in the silence / I will lift you from all your fear / You will hear My voice / I claim you as My choice /Be still, and know I am near.”
Those early days of the pandemic were unreal and frightening, but I remember the comfort of being able to worship online. The solidarity I felt, knowing others were worshiping at the same time along with me. The steadfastness I saw of our church, with the familiar faces of our pastors on the screen, and the voices of Jason Moon and Peter Hesse leading us in singing that hymn of preparation.
The first Sunday after 9/11, churches were packed with people. I remember sitting on chairs placed in the narthex as an overflow area. We were all looking to God for answers, looking to the church for comfort and solidarity and guidance. I was strengthened by the experience, as we collectively grieved the loss of life but reaffirmed our faith in God.
The pandemic has also been a landmark moment for the church. People have again turned to the church for meaning, for hope. Livestream was a lifeline for many of us, connecting us to a community of believers, opening our hearts and minds to be reminded of who God is and who we are. And I am excited about innovations on the horizon in digital ministry to help people experience God not just on Sunday mornings, but throughout the week.
The first time I was back in the sanctuary for worship in the spring was also an emotional one for me, as it has been for many others. Like that online service on March 22, 2020, hearing a familiar hymn in that space for the first time in over a year brought tears to my eyes. Worship is truly a gift, one I have appreciated all the more as a result of what we have endured over the last 19 months.
What has your experience been with worship and music throughout the pandemic? What new feelings or commitments have been stirred within you during this time?
Bless you Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, I bless Your holy name. (Psalm 103:1)

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