Out of Season

There I sat, sweating through my shirt, wondering how I’d ever cut a 40 minute sermon to just 15. After this final song, I was to step on stage and teach. Not to a crowd, but to a camera. Due to COVID-19, the call to suspend public gatherings had just been made a day before. I had spent weeks preparing the sermon to be delivered live to a packed house. Our people were being asked to stream the service from their living rooms. I had received texts and calls from parishioners the night before, anxious about not getting to meet as a church, Reeling in loneliness, they too needed a crowd, as much as I needed them. Was this really the church? Well, it was, it was our option, in that moment. It was revealing; I think we all felt exposed, I know that I did. Had we really made any disciples that could sustain through a time such as this? was the message truly embedded? Was the love we preach that we have…real? How did we get here? …and, how did we get here so fast?! All of this ran through my mind, revealing one fundamental question… What do we do now?
 
Schools were closed, businesses shut. Sporting events were cancelled, concerts/local venues cancelled, and yes…church…was cancelled. We were all being forced to consider others primarily. More than we had ever been forced to before. Some deemed it “Coronapocolypse.” Anything to this magnitude had only been imagined in the minds of Hollywood producers and End Times fanatics, yet here we were, without a dress rehearsal. We weren’t witnessing it on a big screen, but playing it out in real time. It was life; a new norm. It was real…it was surreal.
 
2 Timothy 4:2 says, “Preach the Word, be prepared in season, and out of season…” Well, this was out of season, but were we truly prepared? What does the church in the West do, when it cannot “DO” any more? How does it function without programs…and production…and people…or at least a considerable crowd? It is forced to “BE.”
 
Being, at it’s very heart, lacks an entertaining factor. Today, many may mistake it for boredom, but isn’t it funny how the things that seem most simple in life are the things that tend to make us feel most alive? They tend to give us purpose and fuel us with meaning. I mean, consider it, the entire world was just forced into an unscheduled Sabbatical, leaving most people with the quest for something to do, but maybe…just maybe, church…while unscheduled by us, yet fully ordered by God, we were all asked to just…be, Asked to reconsider. (maybe for the first time) who we really are. What’s really important. And, Who is priority. We all went through it, but have we already forgotten? I hope not. Moments like this bring everything into focus. What we just experienced through this global pandemic was a monumental opportunity to strip everything back to the heart. 
 
It was a time of reckoning. A time of rediscovering. A time of revival. A time to simply “BE.”
 
Church, let’s pursue Him this week. Let’s become like Him in that pursuit. And. let’s simply be the people that He designed and intends us to be. Let’s trust Him and worship Him by simply being.

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