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20 April 2020
There’s a definite shift in the tenor of my morning radio shows. For the past six weeks or so, most of the programs I frequent have focused on the deepening crisis of Covid-19 and how governments, hospitals, businesses, organizations, and families were reacting to the crisis. In many ways the programs had a wartime tone, with constant reports from the “fronts” of medical and economic intervention keeping listeners abreast of the small victories and the emerging challenges. Today? Everyone seems to be talking about recovery.
While I think it’s premature to declare victory over the virus—please stay vigilant in maintaining all those mitigation recommendations—I do think it is important to begin a conversation about what we’ve learned about ourselves during this pandemic and what needs to change in our lives moving forward. I, for one, realize that maintaining some of the meaningful shifts I’ve made in my daily schedule (more sleep, more time in the yard) will keep me happier and healthier over the long term. When I think about Messiah, I’m wondering how we can leverage technology to connect to more folks while bringing heightened efficiencies to the “business” of the church. I also recognize that the lasting impacts of the pandemic will require congregations like ours to deepen outreach to families working through grief, unemployment, displacement, and a host of emerging challenges. Indeed, the world six weeks from now will look quite different than the world of six weeks ago.
I point your attention to the tail end of Acts chapter two today, a favorite of mine and the scriptural basis for Messiah’s strategic plan & Let Your Light Shine campaign. The text describes the workings of the early Church at a time when the people of God are discerning what to do next after the Holy Spirit rouses them from their slumber. While it will take generations for the Church to refine the details of its mission, the first Christians recognized that worship, connection, and service would be essential pieces of the Church’s identity.
Recovery? It may be a bit premature to claim we are in a state of recovery on April 20, but it’s never too soon to envision how we want to emerge from this trouble—and thrive beyond it—when the season of recovery does arrive.
Reading for Today: Acts 2:43-47