A New Era

  • What is your new normal? Is it truly new? And more importantly, does it move you to God’s norm.
  • Rest. Let creativity flow into you from the Spirit. Trying to press into things all the time is a false premise.
  • Do keep doing what we can in community. But perhaps look at the ‘traditional’ evangelism the other way round … preach the word through action, yes, but look also to when you can use words.
  • Pretty much all we do in a “traditional” church service is based on words: read, hear, sing. We may benefit from thinking of others who do not have words (the Instagram generation) and who do not easily sit still and listen.

This time is part of a critical change. We may be living at the turning point to a new era, a new time and way of life. We may look back and see that whilst we did certain things (good or bad) because we could, now we know their impact. Jesus discusses this: 

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

John 15:15 NIV

This pandemic invites us to lean into living with that faith. But consider the physical world – the earth where we live. Consider the earth as a subject as well as an object of God’s creation. Do not think just about the earth but towards the earth – the delight we have in the birds, that the trees keep growing, the seasons still turn. The pandemic has heightened our awareness of the natural world and also our dislocation from it.

We are called to be stewards, so how do we care for the world? The people least responsible for these things will be their hardest hit. Think of Scripture. In Psalms, the writer is brave enough to cry out in honesty: Where are you, God!

And have compassion – be kind to yourself and others. Remember our fragility. And we may even re-open some lost aspects of our faith. Think of the monks and their lives with regular isolation.

In a recent poll, 61% of people in Britain did not want things to go back to what they were. The Hebrew word for ‘crisis’ is the same as the word for a ‘birthing stool.’ This crisis may yet be the beginning of something new.

[from Timothy Pitt]

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