Tuesday morning, I decided it was time to start lifting weights again. The boys and I had been lifting before the Covid restrictions hit. I even bought an old beat-up weight bench just as the pandemic began. However, over the summer, we stopped lifting. One reason was that the heat and humidity make it miserable to lift weights outside. Another was the lack of time due to the pandemic. But at some point you have to, as the Nike ads say, “Just do it”.
Peter spotted for me, and I had a simple work out: bench press, squats, and deadlifts with moderate weights. I followed up with a short walk. My form was good. All in all, it was a good workout.
Fast forward to Wednesday morning. My whole body is sore. My legs are not entirely working. It hurts. Every time I start lifting again, this happens. Every time it does, I ask myself why did I ever stop lifting in the first place! It is the restarting after a long break that causes you to be sore and hurt. In about two weeks, this will go away. It just hurts when you start back.
I think about many of you in the church. The habit and rhythm of church life have been interrupted due to Covid. It is hard, but I encourage you to find the motivation to come back to church. With my weight lifting, I keep thinking that I was ok, and I was not losing that much strength. Now that I am lifting again, I see just how weak I have gotten. It is the same in the church. Without worship, discipleship, and fellowship in the church, you too are getting weaker spiritually.
Yes, you can read your bible and pray at home. You need to do this every day. You can watch others worship online or on TV. This ability is not a bad thing. However, God created you, and He has saved you to worship in, and be an active part of, a local congregation. It is within the church that God has promised to meet with His people and to strengthen them.
It is hard to get up and get everyone ready. It is annoying to have to wear a mask and social distance. But how good it is to be with God and His people. Just like the soreness from starting back lifting is worth it, so is the hassle and pain of getting back into a routine of church life. You need it, we need you, and God tells you that you need to be here with Him and His people.