In the last 12 months, lots have changed in the church.
Singing, an important part of the Christian faith, was for a period of time not allowed in church. Though those on the platform are now allowed to sing, the congregation is still not permitted to do so.
Mingling – getting to know new visitors and catching up with old friends are not allowed. Lingering in the church premise to spend time with another, to bond as brothers and sisters in Christ, to pray for one another, support one another, cheer up one another – all these have become things of the past.
Corporate worship, teaching and prayer have to be done in smaller groups, following safe-distancing measures. There are no more large gatherings by the hundreds and thousands for now.
All these changes could potentially choke the life out of the church. They could also cause irreparable fragmentation and isolation. But we will not let them.
Thankfully, while many things have changed, many things have not.
We are still the church of Jesus Christ!
We don’t need a building to be one.
We don’t need a large gathering to be called church. Neither do we need a band, great audio-visual equipment, a brightly lit platform and warm ambience.
If we can meet up to work, to play, to chat and to eat, we can certainly meet up to be the church in small groups!
All we need to be the church is an authentic community and the regular gathering of a few like-minded believers to worship, pray, build up one another’s faith, teach, encourage and correct one another.
All we need is that sense of mission to reach the lost, heal the broken-hearted, set free the captives, bring God’s love and truth to those who are helpless and harassed like sheep without a shepherd.
Regardless of COVID, all these things do not change. We are still sons and daughters of the Most High God, loved, empowered and anointed to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to a world in need of Christ. We are still the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Remember this, OUR CIRCUMSTANCES DO NOT CHANGE OUR IDENTITY!
Don’t let livestream services and zoom meetings on TV, phone or computer screens fool you and turn you into couch potatoes, don’t let them lure you into spiritual slumber. Instead, arise and shine.
Some like to say, “the last time I checked, we are still in a pandemic”. Well, that’s true. But this is also true – the last time I checked, we are still the church, we are still worshippers, servants, missionaries, evangelists, encouragers and faith-builders! The last time I checked, we are on the victory side, undefeated, unintimidated, undivided and untamed.
While the rules have changed, the game remains the same. While the way we do things have changed, the the things we do have not changed.
So be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might!
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)