Greetings! I hope you are doing well, and staying well, despite all that is going on.
I’m currently struck by how VASTLY different our experiences are right now:
- For some of us, nothing has changed… for others everything has…
- For some of us, all of our little kids are now home (indefinitely?)… for others we are completely isolated…
- For many, work has become different, busier, scarier, cancelled, at home, looking bleak…
- And I know many are worried that layoffs will be starting soon
- And I know that others can’t hire and train new people fast enough
- Some of you just lost a large portion of net worth or what you live off… some of you are running out of supplies… while others are doing just fine.
- Some of you are worried about your own health (or the health of loved ones)
- While all of us are washing our hands more than normal… and more conscientious of what could be potentially harmful.
AND, I am 100% certain that things will be even MORE different in the next couple of days and weeks…
So, I wanted to share a few thoughts.
First, I don’t know if you’re like me in this, but I have felt a weight: a pressure, a darkness, a stress over the last few days.
I know that what is happening is bad. I know it will get worse. I don’t know how long it will last. I don’t see a way through it. And I don’t know what to do. (And that is weighing on me – and it gets worse every time I see the news – and I don’t like it)
But I also know that recognizing it, naming it, or even talking about it, relieves some of the pressure. This also helps us process it and deal with it.
All that to say, please give yourself some grace (and give it to everyone else too). Go slow. Take care. Be careful. Be kind. Keep living. Pray. Sing. Read. Help. Hope.
Remember, as we talked about on Sunday, Psalm 23 says, “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, for you are with me.” It’s our job, as the sheep in this Psalm, to look towards and walk with our Good Shepherd. We don’t need to know where we’re going, and we don’t need to know why we’re here. But we do need to focus on and follow after our Good Shepherd – because he does.
Second, I think this is a time for us, as individuals and families (and organizations) to live more intentionally. Despite all the chaos, despite us needing to redefine normal, despite all of the unknowns – we still can use this time to live well.
- What if we used this time to really engage with our families, friends, and neighbors?
- Pray with, talk to, teach, play with, and worship with your kids
- Reach out to people you haven’t talked to in a while (Send a note, text email, or even pick up a phone)
- Spend intentional time together
- What if we actually became more connected as communities and neighborhoods again?
- We could call our actual neighbors and check in
- We could add our physical neighbors to our social media pages and find ways to help/serve each other.
- We could drop off groceries or supplies as there is need – even to those living around us
- What if we focused on faith and faithfulness in our lives, in our homes, with our families?
- It strikes me that these are the times when you need something (or someONE) to rest in and rely on.
- It strikes me that this is where we could find peace in a time of chaos
- It strikes me that we could use this time to grow DEEPER, with God and with each other
What if this became a time when there was MORE connection, MORE community, MORE depth, MORE care… (despite the necessary physical distance)?
What if this ends up shaping us all for the better?
To put it a different way, can you imagine the impact we could have…
- If those who are able brought groceries and supplies to those who should not be leaving the house…
- If those who feel helpless and homebound started receiving calls from YOU… starting today…
- If those who have needs (or extra) had the courage to express that and offer help…
- If those who have more than they need donated (or even volunteered if able) at a local charity like Community Storehouse or Christ Haven…
- If all of us became an ACTUAL people of prayer.
Can you imagine how powerful this could be in our world full of fear and loneliness and uncertainty and isolation?
Third, maybe THIS is what it means for us to BE the church.
We are still called to make and grow disciples, we are still called to give our lives, and we are still called to make a difference in the world. Our mission doesn’t change. In fact, right now the world is even more desperate for disciples, who are willing to sacrifice, to make an actual difference.
But it’s not just our mission that doesn’t change… because we also believe that:
- Our God is still in charge
- Jesus is still Lord
- And the Holy Spirit is still at work in us, in our church, and in our world.
What’s more, this is not the first crisis that the Church has faced. This is not the first economic disaster that the Church has seen. This is not even the first pandemic that the Church has worked through.
We are actually NOT the first ones to go through something like this. And in all of those times, it’s the church that has stepped up, reached out, and joined together to help.
Obviously, the current health issues make this harder, but while it’s harder, it’s not impossible. And, we are not the only ones who are called to faithfulness in the here and now, no matter what is happening. And so, we join together with Christians across the centuries… and across the globe, as we strive to live faithfully today… and everyday.
So keep BEING the church, and doing the WORK of the church, as we continue to live out our mission!
Stay Tuned, Be Safe, Hold Fast,
P.S. There is a high likelihood that we are going to be moving our worship services online this Sunday… but I’ll tell you more about that later this week (probably a Thursday email).
P.S.S. If you or someone you know specifically needs help, please let us know so that we can see if we have the ability to do something about it!!