Virtual Worship

April 29, 2020

A week ago, my disheveled family gathered on the couch with coffee and breakfast tacos in hand.  I did not have high expectations at all for online worship or prayer. We negotiated on what time and which congregation we would tune into since our regular community was not online until later in the evening. It was surreal to see colleagues spread 6-feet apart, to hear music with few voices, and the children’s moment with no children (except mine on the couch). I was distracted at best as I glanced regularly at the screen. Then somewhere between the sacred readings and the sermon, I found myself in the moment. The readings were familiar, the wisdom spoken by the pastor powerful. I was challenged and comforted by prayers and songs. When the courageous congregational leaders spoke the Christian Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father, who art in heaven…” I quietly spoke along with them, then I noticed other couch sitters speaking as well. For a moment, there was a sacred connection within our family, with this scattered faith community, the human family, and with God. I may not see it all the time (I probably won’t) but I want to look for those sacred moments more often. Whether on walks, hearing birds (like this post-rain morning), worshiping with a scattered community, or seeking to bring wholeness, hope, and compassion in a world that is hurting. May you find ways to seek the sacred.

~ Scott Hardin-Nieri