Updated: Apr 1, 2021
It’s coming up to one year of lockdowns, one whole year when we haven’t stopped talking about the coronavirus, one year of not having been to church on a Sunday (well physically at least)
If someone had prophesied in your church in 2019 that we would all be homeschooling, not allowed to meet in our church buildings, prevented from seeing our family and friends then I think the elders would have been gathering to discuss whether there was need for some spiritual counselling!
We have found ourselves facing challenges that have been incredibly tough, even for the most emotionally hardy we have at points over the past year, found ourselves emotionally exhausted by another Zoom meeting, we have lost friends and family, frustrated at spending another day doing the same thing as the day before (hands up who is just getting really bored!) and worried about those in our communities isolated and alone.
Perhaps it's the fact it has been so difficult is what makes it such an opportune moment for God to work new things within us.
This is a moment when I believe God is moving in a significant way in our nation and in our churches. If in a year's time our churches and our lives are just the same as they were a year ago and the pandemic created just an uncomfortable blip, then it would be a tragic waste of all the struggle, suffering and loss we have endured together.
God is doing a new thing and I don’t know about you but I don’t want to miss it.
If I was to ask people who just want things to go back to “normal” as quickly as possible there would be a good number and there would also be a secret group who would pretend they are ready for a new “normal” but secretly just want things to go back to how they were.
The thing about normal is that we could translate the word as “comfortable”. The thing about normal is that it is familiar, we love familiar.
Normal may not have been perfect but it was familiar, it was comfortable.
Over the past year our churches have been forced out of their comfortable routines. We have stopped so many of our activities programmes. We have lost our spiritual crutches like a good worship time or a good coffee machine after the meeting. We have been taken into the wilderness with God.
We can see a potential end. The vaccine train is rolling at speed to the rescue. There is a temptation to coast along, to hunker down and wait it out but please don’t waste this moment.
I believe God is doing a new thing. Do you perceive it? Do you sense the Spirit drawing you into a renewal of prayer? Are we spiritually prepared for all that God is going to be doing in 2020? Are we pressing into God in this season, allowing him to teach us and shape us?
Let us not not be absorbed with obstacles that we miss the opportunities.