This is the second in my series of blogs about, what I believe God is saying to me at this of lock down due to the Coronavirus. The point of these blogs is to spark some discussion and help the fellowship I belong to explore what God may be saying to us at this time. If they start discussion beyond our fellowship, great!
It happened again the other evening. It is happening quite a bit recently. I found myself shedding a few tears.
Now, to understand the significance of this, you have to know me. I am not the sort of person that gets “over emotional”, I am not cold but, I am fairly good at keeping my emotions in check and holding it together. So, for me, this was not my usual reaction and I found myself wondering, why was I responding in this way?
What had happened?
It had been a really nice evening. I had led our Housegroup@home gathering. In common with many Churches at this time, we cannot meet. The only way we can “gather” for prayer, Bible study and so forth is via Zoom. I was the meeting host. Every time somebody joined, I felt really excited that they were there. I felt my heart lift when I saw those familiar faces from our church fellowship.
As the meeting came to close, I felt quite sad. I clicked the “close meeting” and shed a few tears. I realised that God was saying something to me. So, what was it?
As I have thought about it, I really felt God was saying to me;
Appreciate afresh the people you are amongst.
It came as a bit of a shock. I am a Pastor. People and ministering to people is what I do. So, why did I need to appreciate them afresh?
That is where the problem lay;
people is what I do
Like many, my diary gets somewhat busy at times, and life becomes about tasks and what I have to do. The danger is that people can end up becoming work, another task that has to be accomplished. With a diary that was suddenly empty, I had space to think about how I really relate to people.
This is not just about me this is something that, I believe, God is saying to the Church
I really hope that the fellowship I belong to, will take this on board. When we return to whatever “normal” is going to be, I hope we learn to appreciate each other afresh. I want us to look at ways in which WE can build real meaningful relationships with each other. I hope we look beyond the narrow confines of our friendship groups within Church, really notice and appreciate each other.
One of the early Church Theologians came from Carthage, in North Africa. He was a man called Tertullian, you may not have heard of him but, you probably recognize his best known saying;
See how these Christians love one another
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”
(John 13 vs. 34 – 35 The Message)
Let’s make these more than words; let’s make them a reality.