January 25, 2022
In 2015 I was afflicted with an autoimmune disease called Dermatomyositis. My immune system attacks my muscles, skin, and vessels. I take medications to suppress my immune system, which leaves me vulnerable to illness. It was recommended that I avoid sick people, large crowds, and children. I now worship from my home by watching Livestream. I miss being in the presence of God’s people to worship Him.
Scripture tells us to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrew 10:25). God wants us to gather together. I personally value having a designated place to gather together. As a college student, I attended a building that had a simple sign in front of it that said “Ontario Bible Church meets here”. The church is a group of people who meet together in a designated place to worship the Lord. I appreciated the expository teaching there and continue to be blessed with the same at East White Oak. I love that we have a designated space for teaching-even with AWANA using the sanctuary for teaching. Being at home can be distracting when trying to watch on Livestream. It is easier to focus on the message and singing when you are not tempted with household chores by being at home.
Watching the service on Livestream lacks being with other believers. The beauty of many voices combined and lifted before the Lord is not present when I sing at home. Standing in honor of the reading of God’s Word when you are by yourself lacks the unity of being with other believers. I have had the privilege of meeting Pastor Anatoli who was raised in communist Russia. He shared much about the risk of gathering to worship. Worshiping with others is a privilege we may take for granted-unless it is taken away. I encourage corporate worship. May we join David when he says ‘I was glad when they said to me “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”‘ (Psalm 122:1)
Janet Schlagel serves on the Missions team at EWOBC. She is married to Dennis. They have four grown children and 7 grandchildren. Janet worked as a Registered Dietitian prior to retiring because of Dermatomyositis. Her interests include quilting and card making.
February OakLeaf Articles:
Preparing for Sunday Worship by Pastor Scott Boerckel
Sunday Worship as Outreach by Pastor Justin Waples
Worship, It’s Good for the Soul by Pastor Jeff VanGoethem
Music in Worship by Paul Jones
Worship from the Psalms by Craig Nelson
Parenting In the Worship Service by Jon and Pam Scott
What I Miss About Physically Gathering for Worship by Janet Schlagel