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Apologies Up Front. This Might Turn Into a Rant.

Apologies Up Front. This Might Turn Into a Rant.

I was at a wedding this weekend and during the sit-down part this woman and her husband engaged me in conversation.

She said, “So what do you think God is doing through this pandemic?”

I said, “I’d like to hear what you think.”

She proceeded along the lines of “Wake Up!”

I nodded my head. “A friend of mine told me last week, ‘If the Church doesn’t wake up after this, then I don’t know what it’s going to take.’”

She nodded hers.

But that didn’t answer the question, did it? Sure, God is waking us up. But…

What is God waking us up to?

Maybe I should be asking, what is God waking up in you?

I don’t want to assume that what God is awaking in me is the same as what God is awaking in you. I told that to the lady and her husband. She leaned forward and said, “Try me.”

So I shared a few of the things with this lady and her husband and what I said resonated.

So here it goes…I’ll share them with you…

(my apologies, this might turn into a rant)

For sure, God is using COVID-19 to force me to slow down and reevaluate what really matters. He is reminding me that I am first and foremost a human being not a human doing.

God is also teaching me that community is important and how big your “us” matters. For too many of us, our “us” (the people that are in the circle we think about, care about, do things for, and serve) is too small.

“For God so loved the world…” In other words, any “us” (race, political bent, nationality, religion, and denomination, etc.) that isn’t as big as the world is too small.

Then, I started to get angry. I apologized to the lady and her husband. “I’m sorry. This kind of stuff gets me fired up.”

They said, “It’s OK. We’re angry too!”

So I said, “I am angry at the church. I feel like they are missing an opportunity to do what Jesus told us to do – to love our neighbor, to love mercy, and to lay down our lives for others. They seem preoccupied with streaming their 11am service and fretting about when they can open back up…I’m asking: When did the church close?

“That’s what I hear God saying – He’s saying, “Church isn’t closed! Get up! Get out there! Share the story! Spread the love!

“I’ve read the Bible and there is nothing in there that says that Church happens between 11-12 on Sunday morning. We, his children, are the church – and whenever two or more are gathered in his name, Jesus is there. He is calling us to build his Kingdom here, on earth as it already is in heaven. That’s what he is saying. He is telling us to get off our butts and do something!”

The lady and her husband sat there staring at me for what seemed like a long time. It probably wasn’t but it felt that way.

Finally, they said, “Sign me up.”

Listen, I’m not saying God wants us to blow up our church buildings, but, again this comes from some highly regarded friends, we can’t stand on the sidelines; we can’t be neutral; we can’t stay focused on opening our doors and hoping people show up. Friends, it’s time to move! It’s time to lead! It’s time to step forward in Jesus name and win hearts and build a Kingdom.

If we don’t do it now – what’s it going to take?

Rant over.

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Ned Erickson

Ned is the Founder and Executive Director of the Winston-Salem Fellows, a non-profit dedicated to equipping people to live seamless lives as they grow into the men and women they were created to be. He is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed novel Clay. He, his wife, two children, dogs, rabbit, guinea pig, turtle, and chickens live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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