April 22, 2020

Norman has been a fixture in our church since the beginning of time. That’s right. He’s older than dirt.

Yesterday morning, as I walked out of the empty sanctuary, I realized that out of all the faces I miss seeing on Sunday mornings, I miss Norman’s the most. I’m not sure why.

Norman has repeatedly told me I have the perfect voice for a pastor. It’s not too loud. It’s not too soft. My voice never disturbs his Sunday morning naps during worship. Half the time, Norman doesn’t even wear his hearing aids. And yet, even after all the years of abuse, I still miss his face. Obviously, I have some deep seated issues that can only be worked out with years of psychotherapy and a lot of medication.

Yesterday, as I talked to Norman and Sandra on the phone, I mentioned that I miss Norman’s face. He said, “Everybody misses my ugly face.” I had to agree because even though Norman will never be classified as a real looker; he is one of those people that everyone in the congregation absolutely loves.

The bottom line is that each of our members is missed on Sunday mornings. And while the worship team leads worship an empty sanctuary, we are always reminded that even though no one is sitting in the pews, God’s people are still gathering together as the Body of Christ through computers, tablets, smart phones, and the radio.

Next Sunday, we will gather again. I hope you will gather with us.

This is what the writer of Hebrews meant by saying: “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Someday we will gather again in the sanctuary. It will be great day. I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s face.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me remember that I am part of your family. Guide my words, thoughts, and actions. I pray my life brings you glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Just for the record, Norman is not the only character in our church.

A few Sunday’s ago, Jim announced to Jan that he was getting ready for church. She thought that was a strange comment considering they could not leave the house. She sent me a picture of what he meant.

There was Jim, sitting in his recliner watching the livestream of the service. He was in his pajamas and wearing a tie. Again, three or four years of psychotherapy and medication and I will be able to put that image out of my head.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins