I was curious, since bars were open in Wisconsin I wondered whether churches were starting to congregate.
Reading that Baptist churches were suing state governments elsewhere, I made my way to the website of The River church in River Falls and found a recently recorded worship service showing individuals in various locations.
The opening song had the words “prone to wander,” a familiar hymn I would’ve enjoyed singing with others. I liked hearing the “melodious sonnet” nonetheless as it was performed in front of the painting of a bare tree on a wall with clear bulbs as leaves. (I also enjoyed whistling the tune later around home.)
There were announcements about how to make prayer requests, Monday night Bible stories for kids and how to get a sanitized Bible delivered to six feet from your door so you could “hold God’s word in your hands.”
Elder Caleb commended brother Andy on his message last week and the “precedent to press on.”
The message on May 17 was about living a life worth imitating — what to exemplify for others to emulate. In a white polo shirt with big fluid gestures where his hands went beyond the frame when he “set the bar high” or greeted the world with arms wide open he talked about “taking up the cross.” Proclaiming that charlatans have too much affection for things of this world, he expounded that one drink is fine but it’s a shame to get drunk.
He referred to churches getting hung up on the “Three Bs: buildings, bodies and budgets.” Adding that it’s not to say a building wouldn’t be nice.
In this time of no physical fellowship, listeners were encouraged to encourage others with their words on phone calls and in writing. And despite longing for togetherness “stand firm in the lord,” “imperfectly point to Christ” and seek “glimpses of glory.”