Covid-19 has been a game changer on so many different levels:
- how we "do" church has changed,
- how we socialize has changed,
- how we connect with our families, has changed,
- how we work has changed.
We and people in our communities face uncertainty about a myriad of questions:
- Will we have enough money to survive? (Perhaps you are among the many Canadians who began this with high consumer debt.)
- How long will we have to self-isolate?
- When can I hug those I love who don't live with me again? ... my adult children? my grandchildren?
- Will I or someone I love get coronavirus?
For those of us who belong to Jesus, other questions are raised:
- How do I live well for Jesus in these days?
- How do I love my neighbour and honor social distancing?
- How do we "spur one another on to love and good works" today?
- What do those good works look like?
- What do the people around me need?
- What can I do to help meet those needs?
- What about the refugees in the world? Can I do something to encourage and bring hope to them?
Many of you are asking those same questions and finding answers that will serve those in your communities. May God bless you and guide you as you look for ways to join Him in the work He is about.
I also expect that some in your congregations may be looking for ways they can contribute, to bring hope and joy to someone who is having a hard time finding hope or joy anywhere.
Among the thousands of us who call ourselves "AGC people," I wonder if we could find 500 who would be willing to exchange emails with a refugee? And if we could find 500 AGC people willing to be an email pen-pal with refugees, I wonder how the hope and encouragement of that exchange would transform them - knowing someone is aware they exist and is praying for them personally? I wonder how connecting with refugees would change us? Which makes me wonder how those 500 changed AGC lives would change the conversations, the perspectives and the priorities of our churches?
Compassion and justice are such a high priority for our good, good Father, I expect as we follow in His footsteps we will become healthier spiritually, more humble as we learn what others have endured, and more grateful as we notice the sufficiency and power of God for everything both we and they need.
As much as these days may be difficult, there are gifts here. It's as we notice these gifts and return thanks for them by using them that we will see God's Kingdom grow both in us and through us. Right now, many of us have the gift of time. Right now, many of us are looking for ways to connect while remaining physically distant. This is a time to connect with brothers and sisters in Christ, and with those who do not know Him personally yet, to "walk alongside" as we journey these days together.
As much as Covid-19 has changed our lives, it has the potential to decimate those places where people cannot isolate or do not have soap. It is in these difficult places that God's grace is most clearly seen. AGC people can be ministers of that grace, whether sharing the gospel or encouraging believers, listening to, engaging with, praying for someone who has been forcibly displaced from home. This is our time to step in. This is our time to serve.