Is it a sin to miss worship?
That depends! – Normally, the Third Commandment applies. However, one day the Pharisees were watching to see if Jesus would heal on the Sabbath, which they considered a violation of their rules. Jesus said, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” -Luke 14:6. Here Jesus recognizes that we or our neighbors may need help when worship is scheduled. Examples are the work of first responders, medical workers and other necessary 24/7 services, or when our family members are ill.
Unless it is to help our neighbor in an urgent need, simply deciding not to attend worship or choosing activities that do not need to be done during this time is a violation of the Third Commandment.
Recall the Bible’s account of Jesus going to the house of Mary and MarthaNow as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” for dinner? Martha was cooking while Mary was at the feet of Jesus. He said, “One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion” (Luke 10:42).
Is watching the livestream an acceptable alternative to attending worship?
That depends! – The livestream is a good choice when you may be prevented from attending church due to illness, being shut-in, lacking transportation, dangerous road conditions or serving your neighbor. No doubt you hear God’s word and are blessed by it. Attending in person remains the better option. Not only are you able to receive the Lord’s Supper, and are blessed by the fellowship of other believers, but your presence at weekly worship plays a vital role in moving St. Lucas forward in its mission to reach other people for Christ. There is no Church without “U”!