In my early years of ministry, during the 1990s, I was serving in rural congregations rural in South Africa. Sometimes people would be sick and at home or in hospital and distances would prevent me from getting to their bedside quickly enough. It was at that stage that I learned how very possible it is to still pray with the person from a distance, over the phone. I still do this from time to time. At times there were 200 kilometres that separated us, but we still were in touch through the Spirit of God.
With the COVID-19 pandemic that we are facing right now, we are in the predicament where this concept is implemented all the time. We pray as a faith community over Zoom or YouTube, spanning across wide spaces without being physically together.
In 2012 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada approved serving Communion over the internet. This past Easter Sunday, we at Dayspring —as many other congregations most likely have done as well — served communion over our Zoom video worship service. People at home were encouraged to have bread or rice crackers and juice or wine ready for this communion. So, this has now happened. We have celebrated the Lord’s Supper in a virtual manner.
Have we ever thought of it? Jesus Christ dwelled on earth for 33 years, and ever since that time, He has, by the work and power of the Holy Spirit, been virtually present in the lives of his followers all over the world. It all happens by the way we look at things, doesn’t it?
(The Rev Dr.) Heinrich Grosskopf
Dayspring Presbyterian Church, Edmonton