As I write it looks likely that the government will announce a delay to the hoped for opening-up on 21st June. For many this will feel disappointing and for others reassuring as the threat of the virus still looms. We have been able to open up our Sunday morning services to a limited number of people which has been wonderful, but it is still not as we’d like it to be. We have to be separate, wear masks and can’t sing. For those of us who have been present in the building this has been a strange experience. There has been joy at being able to see one another and frustration at the many things we can’t do.
For me, preaching without being able to see people’s facial expressions is challenging!
After such a long time of not being able to meet or serve the community in the same ways, it’s inevitable that things are going to feel different for us as church family. For some that can feel frightening (nobody likes change!), but it is part of the inevitable changing scenes of life.
The Coronavirus pandemic is a global event that has changed the world. It’s no surprise that it presents significant challenges to us all on a personal level and as a church community. But I believe we can trust the God who has been faithful to generations before who went through trial and change. God’s love is the same yesterday, today and forever.
God is always calling us into his future. He doesn’t provide a detailed plan (much as I wish he did!), but he always gives us enough for each new step we take. What we are called to do is to keep asking ourselves the simple question, ‘how can we know Jesus and make him known?’
At the end of Matthew’s Gospel Jesus says to his disciples…
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This is our task, this is our core purpose. All the rest is decoration. Yes, we must learn how to do that afresh in our day, but we can trust that God goes with us as we do it.