- What We Do
Earlier this year, when churches went virtual, there was great excitement about the number of views our worship services were getting online. But then, after Easter, those numbers started to dwindle. Some churches decided to begin meeting in person again but still found that their average attendance hovered around 50% of what they usually could expect in the summer. Surely, things would bounce back in the fall when the school year starts, and people are home from vacation, right?
I've been fascinated with the word resilience. I even like the way it’s pronounced. While it may sound silly to native English speakers, for an ESL student, it can be exotic. For example, try to say Feliz Navidad. Beautiful and exquisite, right? Resilience may not compete in significance with other famous words in the Bible like love, peace, and grace—but resilience has been, and continues to be, at the heart of ministry today.
“God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God.” —Revelation 21:3, The Message
"One day at three o’clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their way into the temple for prayer meeting. At the same time …" Acts 3:1 (The Message)
I have been reminded of this passage of Scripture so many times over this season of lockdown. It seems that Peter and John were doing what they did every day. They were engaging together and then found an opportunity in front of them. I believe that, much like Peter and John, we have found an opportunity in front of us.
"See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
And streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)
How do you respond to suffering when you see both the immensity of the pain and you already have a glimpse of how God is using it for good? For Christians, the answer is simple and yet stretches our faith to its limits: We have to look both suffering and hope full in the face. We have to both sit and move. We have to lament and rejoice. There are real dangers to neglecting one or the other.