|People have discussed for the past 6 months how long it might take for things to get back to normal. In a sense, we will never get back to normal as it was recognized last year, but maybe that’s a good thing. The Bible is full of examples of people who learned that blessings lay ahead for God’s people if they braved the darkness in their midst to move ahead instead of returning to familiar, normal, life. |
The Israelites on their journey toward the promised land, considered leaving the uncertainty of following God and going back to slavery in Egypt. There, life was hard but they knew what to expect. If they had returned they would have missed out on the blessings of land, community, and freedom found in the promised land.(Exodus)
When Jesus called people to follow him, many of them wanted to go back to fields and family before committing to discipleship. (Matthew 8) The disciples, after Jesus died, longed to go back to the days of witnessing Jesus’ ministry and miracles. When the Holy Spirit came upon them, they moved forward into ministries they never imagined.
Paul’s letters telling people not to return to old lives of sin, but die to those lives so they can live for Christ. In his letter to the Galatians, he responded to judaizers who believed that gentiles who wanted to become Christian needed to abide by the Jewish law of circumcision first. Paul preached following Christ forward to follow Jesus in the spirit of the law without detouring into Jewish tradition first. I won’t even try to predict what the future will bring, but what if, instead of looking to get back to whatever normal is, we look forward to what God has in store for the church and the world as we move through the troubles we see right now?
The look of church has changed for many of us from pews in the sanctuary to our homes, computer screens and phones. Could we change the look of our discipleship from hoping others join us at church to taking the message of God’s grace to people we encounter in our daily lives? While you’re spending more time at home with your family. What if you use that time to build family relationships between yourself, God, and others; and while you’re not doing some of your “normal” or ordinary daily activities, what extraordinary work might God do through you?