St. Augustine offers and example of a man who makes a beautiful ring for his betrothed and she in turn loves the ring more than the one who made it for her. Of course it is wonderful that she loves the gift, but it is a pledge, that he loves her and that he himself will be loved by her.
The image that Augustine offers made me think of our situation as a Christian community, currently not able to worship in our buildings. Several of my colleagues and I have heard many comments about how wonderful it will be to be back in our churches. I fully agree and I look forward to the day when we can all gather together under one roof. My concern however, is that during the time of only virtual worship we focus not only on missing one another and being in our buildings, but more important is that we focus our love on the one who created us, our buildings, and all things. God has been clear, that God is a jealous God and that we are to worship only him. This time away from buildings and from physical touch is a reminder of how much we need each other and that we are God’s gift to one another.
There is so much to be thankful to God for and I urge us all not to lose sight of that.
The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier