As we all know, 2020 did not go the way we planned. A worldwide pandemic sheltered us in place, closing many of our businesses, jobs, and social lives down for good. Strangely, even with more time on most of our hands, it seems as if most people did not know what to do with it. Instead of unifying together as a country, and more broadly, as a world to fight the virus, we ended up becoming even MORE isolated, due to the nature of the virus itself, but also because of the way that our culture and political conversation has been heading.
We were not able to put away these many differences, and so, it cost us dearly. Another year of our lives away from family, another year of wasted time for (most) of us not to achieve our goals, and most shockingly, another year with a strange relationship between Christians and the church.
Church isn't needed to communicate with God, but what it does service as is a place for fellow believers to have community, where iron can sharpen iron, and were faith can grow. In tough times we are meant to be together, called to help others, and needed to bring comfort to others. yet throughout most of 2020, our churches were closed to the public, and most importantly, far away from our hearts and minds.
This statement is not made to belittle the virus. As someone who had it and had some pretty bad symptoms, I can tell you the virus is NOT FUN. I have also had loved ones lose family members and people that they love to the virus, so I want to emphasize that I am in no way belittling how serious of a situation we are in, especially for older people.
I am however, finding myself wishing that I was in church more and more often. I yearn for that small sense of normality, friendship, and stewardship. I want to go and have live music, and maybe that's petty, but I want that. And finally, most of all, I miss the routine that enables me to communicate with God and the regular schedule that I can reach out sincerely and publicly at least once a week. I miss my family that I would see every week. I miss our after church family dinners when we would discuss our lives, God's plans, and exciting life events.
With these stepping stones, accountability and events gone, life for sure seems simpler, but emptier. We may have gained time to ourselves, but lost time with God and his family along with our own extended families. We may even have gained a fair amount of achievements and position in our careers, but we have lost all resemblance of ourselves. In other words, we gained the world, but in the process, may have lost our souls.
So this is my call to believers: Lets get our souls back. We can stay healthy in body, but we must get our lives back on track with God and with others. At my church, our slogan is "Connecting people with God, people with people, and people to service." If we lose any of these tenants of our church motto, we lose the tenants of discipleship and therefore the meaning in our lives. Our only purpose is to bring glory to God, so if we get on the road towards discipleship and out of fear, we will succumb to the pressure of the outside world, hoping that we as a church fail.
So, lets make 2021 the year of discipleship. Let's make 2021 a year of triumph. In conclusion, let's make 2021 the year of the LORD!