I came across an article earlier this week that has me reflecting about online worship. The article reinforced in my heart, soul, mind, and body that there is a physicality that takes place in worshipping in the presence of one another that is really non-negotiable. In my own spirit I have noticed that the electronic substitution for being physically gathered together is lacking. What I miss is the radiant presence of being with you in person, the sounds of worship live such as, children in the pews, and the ambiance of candles and the atmosphere of the sanctuary. All these contribute to worshipping God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Because of the stay-at-home mandate we have been forced to be creative and shift our public worship to being online. Therefore, we need to carefully consider the great benefit that online services can offer us. This means that we need to approach online services wisely and in the right spirit. To be truly present in an online service we need to be in the spirit so, we must participate with spirit. Here are some tips that you might find helpful.
- When you participate in online services you need to be present. You need to approach the service in the same way you approach being physically at church. I think of it as an active life of prayer and not a temporary interruption into what is normal routine or a distracted routine. It is part of my normal prayer life.
- Create a “sacred space” for worship. Use an area where you do our daily Scripture reading or prayer time. Granted you cannot create church, however, you can recognize the space you are using is a sacred space for the time of worship.
- In preparation for online worship be sure you have eliminate all distractions from your environment and your schedule. Silence your telephone.
- Approach worship in the spirit of live participation. We have become accustomed to being linked to our computers, tablets, and smartphones 24/7. A prayer of preparation to calm your heart, mind, and soul as you come into God’s presence.
- Dress for church at home as you would when going to the corner of Carlos and Gower.
- Light a candle … create a spiritual atmosphere that works for you. Daily my personal devotional time I light a candle and frequently use incense to create an environment of receptivity being with God.
- Participate that is, sing along. If we normally stand for the song/hymn stand and sing, stand for the Scripture reading, in other words, being physically present.
- James 4:8 reminds us “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Grace and Peace,