We are not the first group of Christians who try to define the church during difficult times. Martin Luther, the XVI century great reformer, affirmed that the preaching of the Gospel is essential to the identity of the church. Accordingly, our identity as a church is not found in a building or in a weekly routine. These can be helpful during regular times, but when we cannot be together, we need to remember that we are still a church because we continue to be charged with the preaching of the Gospel. Of course, this includes the preaching of the Word on a Sunday morning, but it goes beyond that. It involves the preaching that we do with words, as well as the preaching that we do with actions. Thus, as long as we continue preaching the good news of God’s Reign as we care for each other through phone calls, emails, notes, text messages, sharing food or financial resources, and as we care for our community by supporting the food bank, providing meals to the needy, and masks to essential workers, we continue to be the church. We may not be together, but if we are preaching the Gospel with our words or actions, we continue to be the church.
Nora O. Lozano