YOUR MOVE LORD.
Patience in the Pandemic.
Unbelievable. Unprecedented. Unprepared. Unaware.
We can exhaust ourselves trying to explain something that we know so little about.
But what about what we do know? What about what we have gone through? What about the adjustments that we have had to make? What about the toll that this has taken on our mental health? Who are we? I believe it was in Hamlet that Ophelia said, “Lord, we know what we are, but not what we may be.” This has probably been the theme for me during this Pandemic. I know who I am right now, but who will I be when this season is over.
Right now, and for most of my years in ministry, I have been a bi-vocational pastor. This means, I haven’t been fully employed by my church, which means I have had to find other ways to provide for my family. This reality has given me a different perspective about Church, Money, and my Family Life. In fact, because of my experience with this type of lifestyle, I have a pretty different perspective about “Church” during the COVID19 Pandemic.
One thing is for sure, I miss gathering physically. I miss that physical interaction with friends and family. I miss the meals we have had together. I miss the kids running up and down the auditorium. I miss people. This last Sunday was mothers day, and my wife and I went on an adventure that was so emotionally exhausting, but in a good way. It all started when one of my old students posted about the flower shop she had been helping out with their marketing. We knew they were in a bind, so we contacted the owner, let her know we wanted to purchase 30 bouquets to deliver to each mother at our church. That Saturday, we held Saturday Morning Kids Church and then made our way to the flower shop to pick up the bouquets. Every stop we made was a roller coaster of emotions. Joyful for being able to honor our moms, happy because we hadn’t seen them in forever, and in a little sad as we wondered when we would see them again. Needless to say, we miss them, and seeing them made me happy.
As a Church that meets at a school, this pandemic has left us homeless. We don’t know if/when the district will let us back into the school, nor do we know if that is what God has for us. One thing we do know, is that church will never be the same. With that said, we are in a season of “Wonder”. A season of waiting on the Lord. For us, it is not, “When will the Governor let us have church again?”, it is “What does God have for us as a Church?”. Maybe this is when we take the bold step into house churches? Maybe this is when a building drops out of the sky? Maybe God has a miracle planned for our congregation? Maybe . . . .
I’ver been asked by pastors, friends, and church members about our “Re-Opening”. Personally, I don’t feel rushed, but what I do feel is that God is preparing us for something different. Like Abraham, we are going into the unknown, and we shall find out what this new uncharted season looks like. The temptation is to be like everyone else because “we are the church”, but one thing that comforts me is that we have not stopped being the Church. We have continued giving to our missionaries. We have continued serving our community. We have given benevolently to some of our congregants. We have continued teaching through the scriptures, and added a Spanish Service to our schedule.
Friends, I love what James said “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Right now, we are in that middle part of this verse. Letting patience have it’s perfect work. That when we come out, we may be stronger, more mature, complete, lacking nothing. Though we know who we are, this verse tells us what we may be. Be encouraged fam.
Love you Church.
Miss you so much.