When God is Pleased that Our Churches are Closed

March 24, 2020 1:39 am

I desire mercy, not sacrifice, the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. – Hosea 6:6

The thought of canceling worship or closing churches causes me deep distress.

But I have to ask, “Why is that being done? Is it persecution?” No. “Is it government overreach?” Some say so.

But…

Why is the Government insisting on closing churches in many places, as in the UK tonight, and perhaps here very soon?

Why have we voluntarily said ‘No’ to large gatherings for worship, foregoing our fellowship, even in smaller groups?

Here is why: We love our neighbors.

Right now, the glory of God is most clearly seen not in our gathering for worship but in our scattering to serve.

Ultimately – when my neighbor’s life is at risk – my attendance to his need (even by my absence!) is what God desires infinitely more than my attendance to worship. He seeks mercy not sacrifice.

We are in a very unusual season in which we most honor God as his people when we most strongly refuse to put at risk the lives of others through our public worship. He desires that we show mercy to others rather than make sacrifices to him.

Let us then attend to our neighbor and attend to public worship again only when we know our neighbors are safe.

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