Will The Real Church Please Stand Up?
I’m going to be honest, I have to fight against fear. I have a love of post-apocalyptic literature, so I have so many scenerios swirling around in my head that involve the collapse of society that I could probably write my own. I have to remind myself that this is not that.
But this time is unprecedented in recent history. And an unprecedented time calls for an unprecedented reaction.
A short time ago I wrote an article calling for a revolution in our mindset about how we view church. Little did I know that just a few short weeks later we would be literally rethinking everything out of necessity.
No longer can we rely on the “professional Christians” to keep our faith going. Bottle feeding is over, at least for a while, so it’s time to move on to solid foods. This is where the real church rises up and showcases the glory of God through his Bride. (hint: that’s us)
We have been forced back into the book of Acts, where faith wasn’t so much “personal” as it was “communal”. Believers took care of each other. While we can’t get together in groups to encourage each other, as they did, we do have the tool of technology literally in our pocket. Utilize this tool. Check on your people regularly, especially if they are older, alone, or immune-compromised.
It’s interesting that in order for the gospel to be spread in the early church, God dispersed the believers through persecution. That time in history was called the diaspora. It seems we have a reverse diaspora going on right now. The church is being disbursed from our big and impersonal buildings, back into our homes and neighborhoods.
In this reverse diaspora of the church, let’s remember that the purpose in the past was for the gospel to be spread. We can make that the purpose of this one as well. As believer’s in Jesus, we should not have the same reaction to what is going on around us as our non-believing neighbors, and it should show.
1 Thessalonians 4:13b "...you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope."
We know Who is in control. We know that God is faithful. We know that even if the worst happens, that we lose our lives, that we will be with Him for eternity. We should not panic as the world around us is panicing. And it should be evident.
That doesn’t mean that we should have no worries, or that we should skip around our neighborhoods as if it’s Summer vacation. It just means our reaction to the news and to the unusual circumstances of quarantines and toilet paper shortages should be markedly different than our neighbor, who doesn’t know Jesus. So much so that it makes them wonder and possibly ask the question, “Why aren’t you as worried as I am?”
We should be sharing with those who don’t have enough. We should be checking on those who live alone, are elderly, or ill. We comply with what the government tells us to do (STAY HOME!), but we don’t use it as an excuse to turn inward and forget that there is a world around us that needs the hope that Jesus brings.
This could be an amazing time of revival in our country, and it could quite possibly start with you chatting with your neighbor across your yard.
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