I don’t know about you, but the month of April seemed like it was at least 60 days long! Welcome to May!
I know that many of us are still living with a lot of unknowns right now. In Ohio, we have some glimpses of hope – the General Conference office will be open again on Monday – offices and manufacturers are able to start back to some semblance of normal. Retail will be able to open the following week, but our state remains under a stay at home order with no gatherings over 10 people.
We all know that we’ve lost a lot over the past six weeks. We’ve lost a lot of our freedom. We’ve lost opportunities to be with the folks we know and love. We’ve lost some of our routines. I know it’s incredibly frustrating because many of us long to get back to “normal”, but we don’t know when or if that’s even possible at this point. There’s a lot of pain and disappointment and sometimes that is all we can see in moments like this.
I want to encourage you today to look beyond the loss, disappointment and frustration of this moment. Can you see the opportunities that COVID-19 is bringing to the followers of Jesus?
Sure, your congregation can’t gather in person for worship. I know that it hurts, but do you see the opportunities? Have you noticed the openness that people have to their unknown neighbors or even strangers (at a safe distance, of course)? Have you noticed that people are more open to questions about the meaning of life and spiritual things? Have you noticed that people are moved when they see compassion in action? You have neighborhoods filled with people who will probably never “attend” your church, but they are open to spiritual conversations with their neighbor who happens to be connected to your church body. How are you equipping folks and encouraging them to make the most of these opportunities? Perhaps God wants to launch a whole movement of micro churches through the people He’s dispersed through your community.
They are already talking about the possibility of our schools going to some type of hybrid learning method next fall – meaning kids may be at school for a couple of days a week and at home with distance learning the rest of the week. There are enormous challenges for some families to deal with this kind of set up – lack of internet or electronic devices, parents who work and are unable to help oversee their child’s distance learning and a long list of other challenges. What if you and some of your fellow Jesus followers saw the opportunity to help make sure that kids don’t fall through the cracks during this difficult season? What if God’s people were to declare that no child was going to get left behind during this season? What could you do to demonstrate God’s love and help make sure kids in your community stay on track with their learning?
This crisis we’re walking through is going to continue to present opportunities to demonstrate and proclaim the Good News of Jesus? Do you see the opportunities or are you mired down in the disappointment of the disruption?
Let’s be the people who not only see the opportunities but seize the opportunities that the Lord is placing before us through our present circumstances.
CGGC eNews—Vol. 14, No. 19