I was recently listening to a preacher in Ohio discuss the way his congregation was handling COVID and distancing. He discussed how they handled classes, deep studies (Ezekiel), and technology. He also touted the efforts of teachers, singers, Elders, and congregants during this year. His message of edification to his congregation sparked this message from me.
When will normal be normal? No, I refuse to accept this new time frame is ‘the new normal’. But you must picture it in your own mind. When will we fill pews? When will all the members come back? When will we sing- side-by-side without the prevailing thought of germ distribution? When will we not even carry a mask- for any location we may visit?
Now, how long until we get there? The answer is not, “this year”. It is going to be a while. Can you wait that long? What are you going to do about it?
Here is what I am getting at: One day we will again meet in the building, and the discussions between brethren will inevitably be, “how did you…” What will your answer be?
How did you grow? The leaders of your congregation have tried their prayerful-best to guide the flock. But, at the end of the day, your growth is also on you. Have your children been in the Bible? Have your prayers been uninterrupted? Has your benevolence changed? We will be comparing notes one day, and the growth you are making right now will be a topic of discussion. Some people are growing, learning, evangelizing, striving… some are hiding.
Understand this! You, oh brother/sister, DO NOT get to judge the soul of your brethren. It is not your place to tell a brother/sister that they have failed. More especially, you do not get to tell them they are not trying hard enough! “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4.29) Do not be the Bible-basher, be the Grace-giver.
You still have time to grow. Let your testimony of this time include stories of growth and maturity. We will be talking about this in coming months. What kind of Christian were you during COVID?