We will meet again. It’s only been a week and I already look forward to seeing the host team, smelling the fresh Matchstick coffee, hearing songs of praise from both worship team and congregation, and participating together in the Lord’s supper. I miss these things.
Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely thankful for the technology we have that has allowed us to gather in community groups on Zoom and to hear the preached word on YouTube. I am thankful for Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, FaceTime, and so many more that are keeping us connected in this season. But I long for the day we can shake hands, hug, pray together, and eat together again. For “now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Yet while we are away from each other we have an opportunity. While we have all this time (even if it is a fearful time) we can be preparing our hearts for the day we meet again. I can’t stop thinking about this theme, preparation.
No, I don’t mean preparing for the cov-ocalypse but rather the preparation God is doing by his Holy Spirit in our hearts. What if God is using this time to reveal to people their need for him? What if people around this city are being struck by the reality that the things they have put their hopes in; money, comfort, success, sex, are worthless and meaningless in the face of pestilence? What if God is using this time to gather the elect so that when we gather again in a face-to-face reality there will be a multitude of new faces from the neighbourhoods of South Vancouver, Kitsilano, and East Vancouver?
When we go to the Bible we often see people respond to crazy situations with a softening of heart. A good example of this can be found in Mathew 8 when a Roman Centurion comes to Jesus. It is likely that we all have heard a sermon on this story or walked through it in a Bible study before, but we often miss one key aspect of it. This man was a Roman Centurion. He was respected, he was large, and he was in charge. If anyone didn’t need Jesus it was this guy. This man had everything he needed in life, but when his beloved servant begins “suffering terribly” lying “at home paralyzed” it doesn’t matter who he commands, his position is useless. (Matthew 8:6) With nowhere else to turn he seeks out Jesus for help. In the middle of a crazy situation, his pride is laid low, and he seeks out Jesus. His heart is softened.
And I think this is what God is doing right now in Vancouver. So the question remains; if this is what God is doing in our city through COVID-19 are we preparing ourselves to minister to these people as Christ’s body?
Maybe this season is meant to be one where we prepare ourselves for the harvest. Maybe this season is meant to be one where we pray more, read Scripture more, and go deeper than we ever have before. Maybe this season is meant to be one where we prepare ourselves for the day when we gather with new faces, open to hear the good news because their idols have been dashed to pieces.
Let’s take this time and prepare ourselves for that day. Christ City is putting out a bunch of amazing resources that are meant to do exactly this.
We are releasing daily devotionals called the “Self-Isolation Series” that you can watch every morning and use as a catalyst for prayer.
Brett is doing a course called “Zoom through the Bible” that will help you grow in your understanding of God’s word.
There will be an increased number of “Here Be Dragons” podcasts for your edification as the saints.
Our “Sunday Sermons” will be available on YouTube for everyone to watch.
And there is so much more that Christ City is doing and planning to do to reach kids, youth, and anyone else during this season. I’d encourage you to make use of those resources.
But your preparation doesn’t need to stop there.
For example, you could set yourself up with a daily rhythm of prayer and Scripture reading. Nothing will prepare you heart and mind more than communication with God. We bring our requests to him in prayer and he speaks to us by his living Word in the written word.
So prepare your hearts because “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37).