The Church in Quarantine
These have been some interesting weeks! When churches everywhere were pondering "what is our 2020 vision?", no one imagined this. Empty seats and parking lots. Zoom meetings, virtual small groups and a sudden interest in the on line footprint of individual congregations.
I have generally been impressed with the efforts. Like many of you I have sampled the streaming offerings of several congregations, finding content both profound and cringeworthy...sometimes in the same service. Church has been forced to do something that historically institutional church has been reluctant to do: adapt and change.
To be honest, I don't like to adapt or change much either. Kind of like trying to unscramble an egg. Yet our calling is to connect with people who are hurting, marginalized, and during the current crisis, wrestling again with their shadows of loneliness, doubt, addiction, depression, broken hearts and broken relationships.
I am finding there are opportunities in the new world order: There is time to look closely at you, unfiltered, honest you. Examine the quality of your relationship to God first, and then to those you are very much stuck with right now. Time to discover atrophied spiritual, emotional and physical muscles. To cry out for the renewal pushed aside for so long by other and numerous priorities. Who am I apart from so much endless doing?
Maybe most importantly there is time to really see those around us. To figure out that your phone actually can call someone. That you are not the only lonely, at the end of your rope child of God. We long for connection in a world that has been trending toward hiding for quite a while now. Stop hiding. Your transparent sharing of what life and faith are really like for you today, might just be the reason for someone else to hang on and reach out to the One who will never let us go.