We never expected that Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist Church would not be able to gather in person for over a year. Yet here we are—385 days since we last met in person. To be clear, worship has not stopped. In fact, it has continued to grow in exciting, new, and different ways. But the building has remained closed. We’ve been unable to gather corporately. In some ways, there is a similarity between our year-long exile and what we read about the Jewish experience scripture. No, ours wasn’t as long, nor likely as troubled, but it still feels a bit like a return from exile nonetheless.
In scripture, God used exile to remind His people of their need for reform—of their need to turn back to Him. Similarly, we’ve had time over the past year to reflect on this same need.
We are in the early phases of regathering after an exile of sorts. Even though we rejoice as we return to the sanctuary, we recognize that our community is different from a year ago. There will be some who do not return by choice. Some cannot return because they’ve passed to their rest. There are aspects of our gathering that will be quite different when we return.
This week, Pastor Chad Stuart shares a stand-alone message titled “Hope for Exiles.” We’re glad that you’re here to worship with us. We pray that this is a place where you feel welcomed, loved, and supported. But most of all, we hope that it’s a place where you meet Jesus.