It’s Going to be Epic

Imagine you and your large family have been separated from each other, against your will, for several months. During the time apart, babies were born, loved ones died, birthdays came and went, life milestones reached and life changing decisions were made. Your family is accustomed to gathering often to celebrate and grieve life changing defining moments, to simply enjoy each other’s company. You don’t just love each other, you like each other! Hugging and embracing, sitting around a table exuberantly telling stories, laughing and crying together is your family culture.

You not only miss the one on one, face to face conversations with your cousin or that favorite dish cooked by grandma just for you, you miss the overflowing energy and joy of the collective whole. You can’t wait to hear the announcement that everyone is gathering at the old home place. You will cancel all your plans, stop whatever you are doing. Nothing will keep you from attending this historic family gathering. It is going to be Epic!

The Big Day finally arrives and you are pumped. Everyone has been chatting, making plans. The kids are bouncing off the wall, excited to see their cousins. You can’t wait to hug your parents and catch up with your siblings. The menu has been announced and all of your favorites will be on the table. You get up early, anticipating the great family reunion that is only hours away. It feels like Christmas morning. The anticipation can be cut with a knife.

You load up the family and off you go. You see cars parked on either side of the road before you see the old home place. Everybody came! It is going to be an incredible experience. You finally park, unload the family and eagerly approach the front door. Someone is waiting for you but the look on their face is not what you expected.

Instead of smiling ear to ear, they look sad or nervous. It is hard to tell which from a distance. But before you can even get to the door, instead of “Welcome, great to see you!” they awkwardly blurt out, “Sorry, the house is full. There’s not enough room for your bunch. You might as well go home. We’ll post photos on social media so you can see how things went. Maybe there will be enough room for you next time.”

Through the windows you see people smiling, laughing, and hugging. They are thrilled to see each other! Everyone is talking at once, creating a rising roar that leaks through the doors.

Before leaving you throw a Hail Mary, “Surely there’s a mistake. That’s my family. I belong here. They are expecting me.”

“I’m sorry, but there’s no mistake, maybe next time.”

Imagine how you feel? What are you thinking? What is your mindset? Will you come back the next time the family gathers?

The purpose of Pathway Church is to glorify God by sharing the love and grace of Jesus Christ with as many people as we can. There are lots of ways to share this love and grace, but opening wide the doors and throwing out the welcome mat for any and every worship service we host is at the top of the list. Our culture and DNA does not include turning anyone away, but sharing with as many people as we can and then “Now One More.”

We have prayed and prayed seeking God’s guidance on when we are to return to worshiping together on campus. We are dialed-in to the recommendations of the CDC, our federal, state and local government entities. We are in conversation with the leadership of local hospitals and our medical community as a whole. We are staying informed of the ever evolving plans of our local schools and area churches. The data, metrics and plans of all these entities are being evaluated and studied, but even more so we are listening to the Holy Spirit for what is best for the mission and people of Pathway Church.

We sense the Lord telling us, “Not yet.” Believe me, your church session and staff are as eager as you are to reconvene, but one of our key Pathway DNA traits is listening and obeying the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We will give you at least 10 to 14 days notice before we all show up on campus for what will be an “Easter-like” weekend worship experience. But the time to start praying and preparing is now. When that weekend comes, it will be a mind bending, heart tugging, joy filled, off the chart praise, overwhelming family reunion experience. It is going to be Epic!

And no one will be turned away because Pathway Church will always have room for “Now One More.”

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