We Are The Church

 In Tori Smith

My how things have changed. When I turned in my March blog on the servanthood of Jesus, I was thinking at that time that the next two blogs would cover the idea of servant hood – leading up to our spring Every Member (everyone) In Ministry campaign. And then, the pandemic happened. And in the midst of all the immediate changes that were happening around us, I switched to a word of hope for the April blog.  But now it seems that we are a little more settled in this new normal that all of us are experiencing.  And what I’ve noticed is this wonderful fulfillment of the true Church, which is beyond the facility walls, rising up in ways that I’ve never experience before.  I’ve seen you turn to technology in order to stay connected. You are hanging in there even when the technology is frustrating or the platforms we are using seem to be overloaded with the amount of demand that is being placed on them. I’ve witnessed patience when computers freeze, mics fail or cameras stop working.  You are getting to know more people in the church through your phone calls that have led to meaningful conversations and new friendships.  You are discovering your brothers and sisters in the body and I can’t help but think that when we are able to come together to worship (and it will happen) we will notice a difference in how we care for one another, in what we place our value on and how we follow Christ.  Because of the social distancing we have been practicing with the church building, its value has taken its rightful place…behind the true Church – our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Though maybe not perfectly, we have been able to continue to stay connected and care for one another – even while being ordered to stay at home. Well done Church!  This has been a hard time, however, you are walking out your faith. Well done!

But don’t stop; don’t think we have done all that we need to do, so we can retreat into our own needs.  Especially after the release of the governor’s most recent plans have us practicing social distancing and limiting our gatherings to 10 people.  Now is the time to do as you have been doing – to look beyond your own needs…..how does the scripture put it?  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4 NIV

As we continue to move forward in this difficult time, taking precautions for ourselves and others around us – ask the Lord the question what do you need me to be doing for you, for others? Then listen and act.  It might be a simple phone call. It might be sending a card.  It might be offering to pray with someone at work. It might be to start a new ministry for this season we are in.  Which is what happened when Ralph Petertonjes asked the question, “What can I do?” Out of that came a team who are making masks for anyone who needs one.

I encourage all of us to not give up.  I know we are getting tired of the stress that this new lifestyle is causing. I know a lot of us want a haircut.  But don’t give up.  You are doing so well.  Continue to be the Church and reach out to one another. Continue to look to the Lord each day for strength and hope. May you experience the abundance of His Glory today!

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