And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
-Hebrews 10:24 & 25
Lent is a season of penitence. Often, people give things up to express repenting of things or habits that might allow them to focus more on God and their faith. Some people take on new spiritual practices. In the last 12 months many of us have given up or lost a lot. This may be your year to reclaim some of them. The Barna group, one of the biggest organizations that tracks church statistics reports that as many as one in three Christians have stopped attending church in any way. If that's you, this Lent is your call to pick back up worship for you and your family.
In past years, many Christians have as their primary reason for missing weekly worship that they were too busy or had competing Sunday morning activities. And yet, many churches, including JCPC, and most of our neighbors moved online for the first time or had already been providing that. It's time to make the time and buckle in for worship. Scripture tells us it's essential. Research tells us it's essential to being anchored in lifelong spiritual practices, family bonding, and health. And it's literally never been easier. While I do hope you'll come to drive-in worship with us, if you cannot, I hope you'll tune in online. It's shorter than a regular service. In fact, if you used to come for two hours to also do Sunday school or socialize, you can check out other worship services from our neighbors, other Presbyterian churches, our previous services you missed, or watch this week's service again. There's also an online children's message. And you can join a number of small groups on Zoom.
This Lent, reclaim your faith, or check it out for the first time in a while. Do not let Covid keep you from the pew. It can be your couch. We can all get there and be together in spirit. Don't let anything else fill the void. What fills our moments we ought to or used to spend with God become our idols. When we choose to carve that time back out and reclaim it, we destroy our idols and reclaim our faith and families. This Lent, reclaim worship, live or online. Make a plan, be disciplined, find accountability in friends and pastors and with your own family. I'll see you in the lot, on Zoom, and God willing, on the other side of this pandemic in our pews and classrooms and over a dinner table.