Last Sunday, we had a mild freak out in the student ministry of my church. Like most churches, we use Zoom for our meetings. We settled in at 9am, some in their beds, others on their couches or their back porches, ready to learn about Paul’s confrontation with the Jews in Jerusalem. Everyone clicked the link to join the meeting and waited. And waited. And nothing happened.
We texted, emailed, DMed and everyone had the same problem. No one could get in. It turns out Zoom had server crashes that affected a small percentage of users, including the student ministry meeting of a church just outside Houston, Texas. It was a harsh reminder of a new reality we are all dealing with.
I’m not one for clichés. To be honest, I avoid them as much as possible, unless I’m trying to be funny. Phrases like “new normal” grate on me. But it’s where we are, isn’t it? Our normal has changed. Zoom is a verb like it’s never been before. My family owns multiple face masks (mine is Batman themed, of course). We have to ask if a business is open before we head there, just in case.
Even though our normal is new, our priorities as believers are still the same. We are still called to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love others as ourselves. And we are still called to be in community. It’s my hope that the extra effort now required for community stays with us when this is all over. It takes more work to organize a birthday car parade than it does to drop your kids off at the front door of the local play place. Meals together require more planning, more logistics to work through than they used to. In short, community just takes more effort!
Time together–working, playing, laughing, crying–is important. It’s biblical. When we spend time together as believers, we see the body of Christ grow and mature. Paul says it this way:
“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” – Romans 12:4-5
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” – Ephesians 4:15-16
We are each a part of the body of Christ, and as we work together, as we spend time in community with each other, the whole body grows up in the love of Christ. So as your “new normal” starts to look more like your old normal, don’t lose the effort you’ve spent over the last few months to connect with people. Just because it’s easier, doesn’t mean it’s less important!
by Rob Trahan