Tag Archives: Christ’s body

“Our Church Went Back to Church on Sunday”

Our church went back to church on Sunday. Our governor had said that we could, within some Covid-19 guidelines. Our little bunch chose to wait a week longer than required, and, just speaking for me, myself, and I, I’m glad we waited.

One size does not fit all, though we’re all trying to plot a way through this mess. Backseat drivers are already plentiful, and, though toilet paper was hard to come by a few weeks ago, I suspect, once we get a bit past this present pandemic crisis, we will be buried by a surplus of hindsight for years to come.

It seems to me that the top national medical folks we’ve heard from have done very well. I think my state’s governor and the mayors in my area have handled a tough situation admirably.

And so, when we got to the point here that churches were given, not the “all clear,” but the opportunity to meet together again, with precautions in place, we did. We just waited an extra week. I have friends at area churches who met the first Sunday they could. I have friends and colleagues at churches who have needed to wait two weeks. And I have friends and colleagues at other churches in other towns who either can’t resume meetings yet because their churches are too large to effectively follow the guidelines, or they are located in areas where the virus is presently spiking.

What this all means is that, though we’re all dealing with this mess and share plenty of experiences in common, we may be at slightly different points in the journey.

Not second-guessing anybody else at all, I’m glad we waited a week. It took that long to try to figure out how to do, in the midst of a pandemic, this thing that we’ve done every Sunday for decades. And I might as well admit it, spiritual giant that I am, though I’ve really missed worshiping together, I knew we’d be “back” eventually, and I didn’t mind recording one more Sunday service on a Thursday night and having one more sort of two-Saturday weekend. (Am I really just a barely housebroken pagan at heart? Probably so. If you’re surprised, you obviously don’t know me.) I know God wants his people to meet for worship. I know we need it. And I love it. But if my Father minds me filing as “a little bit of a blessing in the mess” a few Sunday mornings of genuinely quiet rest, well, I’d be very surprised. (In fact, I now think I’d lobby for a once ever seven-year Jubilee year, an Old Testament allusion, where we had seven Sundays of total Sabbath rest.)

Being “back” would be good, I knew, but I also knew it would be a bit weird. Enough masks for a bank robber/burglars’ convention. An odd inclination to want to remove somebody’s appendix. And, if we took any liberties, expecting the Covid-19 police to show up with tape measures and super glue or staple guns to permanently mask us up, even in a county with, so far, less than a handful of confirmed cases. And, yes, I know we need to be wise, even if being wise may feel a bit silly. We don’t want more cases, and we’ll probably have more, like it or not, so, yes, we need to be careful.

I’ll be interested in comparing notes with others who have or soon will go back to church. Not everything felt silly.

Some of the changes made us think more about what a blessing it was simply to be together. We thought more than usual about each member’s special place at the Table and in the Body—both those who were there and those who weren’t yet. We lingered on the front lawn visiting and laughing (and desperately wanting to hug).

What was the same as it had always been seemed somehow more precious. What was altered seemed more deeply filled with meaning.

We’re enjoined by the Apostle Paul to “discern the body.” Maybe we did. Maybe more than ever on Sunday. His Body.



     You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com! No mask required!



Copyright 2020 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or profiteering is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.


“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”


“Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!” CD Cover-One Christmas Night-cover_Page_1-small

Well, it’s no secret that I love the white stuff in general and Christmas in particular. But it was a little unusual that, at the end of September, I’d be sitting on a stool up at the front of the church, playing “Let It Snow!” and eleven more Christmas songs for a nice bunch of folks who knew it wasn’t Christmas yet. I’m usually the guy fussing about those who rush the season, hang tinsel before Halloween, and fly past Thanksgiving with barely a glance at the turkey.

But this year I’m the turkey who’s just recorded a brand new Christmas album (CD), “One Christmas Night,” and we were gathered for a “Listening Party” and album debut as we played the songs and my producer, Darrell Bledsoe, and I told a few of the “behind the scenes” stories of the recording.

The whole “making music” process is fascinating, amazing, incredibly difficult, and . . . absolutely some of the most fun I’ve ever had!

One thing is now very clear to me: to get what we shared Sunday all digitized to files, made into a disc, and wrapped up in a nice package, well, that takes the best efforts and amazing talents of lots of folks.

Having an album out by Christmas means starting way before Christmas and singing Christmas songs all year. I’m fine with that!

Picking the songs. Getting the songs “charted” by and for the musicians. Recording the instrumentals. Getting special vocal arrangements. Recording the lead vocals. Arranging and recording the background vocals. Designing the album cover and “liner notes.” Mixing. Mastering. Manufacturing.

I could talk for hours about each of those steps and more. I enjoy telling those stories, not to mention describing the studios and people involved all along the way and even the mikes and sound boards, etc. I love this stuff! It’s magic to me! (I just try to stop talking before folks’ eyes glaze over.)

But most impressive to me is the number of talented people it takes to produce something you want to be beautiful and a blessing. (May I mention that you can take a listen at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com?) I’d love to tell you about each one of these friends who are so good at what they do that they have no need to be loud about it.

The Apostle Paul was not talking about recording a Christmas album. He used a different metaphor when he said that Christ’s church is a body functioning beautifully and in harmony when each “member” of the body is submitted to the Head (Christ).

I pray that, because lots of folks worked very well together, the music we’ve recorded is a blessing to many and that God’s joy fills every note. I know for sure that when Christ’s people, his church, honor him and use the gifts he has empowered in each, the result is beautiful indeed.

Forgive me, but I’m already wanting some beautiful snow!


     You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com! It does have new pics and sample tracks from the Christmas CD!

Copyright 2013 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.

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