This weekend my church opened its doors for the first time in five months since COVID-19 reared its ugly head. I wanted to be there. Sometimes we don’t know how much we appreciate something until its gone. So I said yes to volunteering on this momentous first day back.
I normally serve as an altar minister, praying with those who need intercession or healing but we can’t physically do that because of COVID. Instead, I was a greeter and wore a church logoed face mask. While I dislike the masks, I proudly wore this because it represented a return to some aspect of normalcy.
But after everyone arrived and I had fulfilled my duties, I was able to sneak into the service. Because of social distancing, all that was left were upper balcony seats so I slipped into the top row. I remember one service where I complained when we ended up in the last row, a far distance from the altar. The speaker was Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson, and we had an overflow crowd. I was continuing to vocalize my disappointment when I heard, Who are you worshiping anyway? It was a reminder that God sees us wherever we are, and we can worship Him in any place.
But there is something special about corporate worship and a body of believers coming together. So this time I was elated to be on the last row, and as the presence of God infiltrated the sanctuary through the live worship, my hands were lifted high in praise to God who continues to bring us through this difficult season, both emotionally and physically.
Psalm 150:6 says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” In Psalm 64:34, King David, who had a heart of worship said, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” Prior to this verse David proclaimed, “I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory” (Psalm 63:2). On Sunday morning, I felt the Spirit of the Lord in the sanctuary—He is alive and well—and because of that I just wanted to show God how much I love Him through my praise. It was praise that flowed straight from my heart.