My home church in Deerwood has a driveway that runs around the church building. I had a dream once, that it was a drive-thru, but not for coffee or food, but for the Sunday sermon.

You could pull up to a menu, choose from a variety of messages that looked interesting, order one, then pull up to the window, pay, get your CD and off you went! There was no need to go inside the church anymore. Over time, the people attending the inside services, got smaller and smaller, until the church finally closed its doors.

This was a dream, but it could actually happen. In our age of technology, we don’t even have to get dressed or leave home to listen to a sermon on TV or other device. We can certainly be spiritually fed this way, but there is a reason that God wants us to congregate. Together is where the magic happens!

It makes me wonder what will happen to the Bible in the next century. Just in my lifetime it has become available on-line. But what do we lose when we can’t hold it, smell the leather, feel the brittle strength of the thin pages, write notes in the margins, and high-light our favorite verses? A well-worn friend that we can carry with us and turn to when needed.

Time will answer that question. What I do know is that I can talk on the phone with someone and feel love, but seeing them, touching them, smelling their unique fragrance—cannot be duplicated. What grandparent would rather Facetime than actually get a hug from their grandchild?

When tested, Jesus answered the question of what is most important in our lives here on earth: Love God and Love our neighbor. Can the love of our neighbor really be done well at a distance?

Any type of caring can certainly help in our healing process, but the brokenness that many of us have felt can sometimes only be mended by the healing touch of another’s presence.

Our lives are like a jigsaw puzzle. The pieces can be so different, but there is that one part of each that fits with the next. And like a puzzle that has been boxed up, we can still come together as a beautiful masterpiece, if we touch one another.

In our world today, it seems that we are trying to fit together without touching. There are pieces missing. There are pieces that are torn and tattered.

Our mission is to connect the pieces that are there in front of us and to find those worn, broken and missing pieces, and to fit those into the picture. The end result will look different than the picture on the outside of the box, but the question then is whether we will see the masterpiece we have created. Not with sight, but only with vision will we see the transformation.

In this broken world we live in, love from a distance is not the best way for us to live. We may be broken, but we are not beyond repair. We need to be healed with the love that comes from human contact.

It is easier to stay home on cold winter days instead of bundling up, warming up the car and driving miles to church. But the warmth found in our church families cannot be duplicated. It stokes the fires in our souls.

I’m glad the drive-thru church was just a dream. May we all work at fitting together into the beautiful masterpiece that God has envisioned for us.

Pastor Diane Bolles

Pengilly and Nashwauk

United Methodist

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