The Covid-19 Crisis has forced many changes, but have these changes produced transformation? Where has God been at work in the midst of the Crisis? Change happens around us all the time.
The dictionary definitions are:
- “Change (noun) the act or instance of making or becoming different. (verb) make someone or something different; alter or modify.”
- “Transformation (noun) the act or process of changing completely: a complete change.”
- A Christian definition of transformation is becoming a new creation.
Has the Crisis changed you or transformed you?
Some changes I have experienced:
- My Walmart no longer has cashiers. All purchases are now self-check.
- Reduction in the workforce. Some restaurants are closed on Sundays and businesses are scrambling to find qualified employees.
- Some families have chosen a reduced lifestyle and are a one income family.
- Many children have been left behind educationally.
- My family is doing more streaming rather than going to movies or attending other community events.
- We are using online giving to the church.
- Friends have begun weekly Zooming.
- Adult children have made shifts to work at home and question a return to the office.
- Committee meetings are on Zoom.
- SS classes are hybrid both Zoom and in person.
- Some church members have ghosted the church.
- Downsizing staff and church organizational structure is real.
Change is. Given this fact, how do we build a resilient faith to deal with it? How do we sift through change and discover God’s presence? God is not the creator of all change but works in and through it to help accomplish his purposes. Knowing and understanding how God works gives us a beginning point for this discovery. Knowing that God is love gives us a standard by which change is to be evaluated. Does the change help us to love God and each other?
While evaluating change can be done alone, it is less mind boggling to do it in relationship. In Matthew 18:20 we read, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” In Ecclesiastes 4:9 we read, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.”
How is God calling us to be transformed as we move to become post Covid-19 people?
It is hard to observe transformation as it happens. One of the most dramatic Bible stories is Paul’s encounter on the road to Damascus. Without hearing the rest of the story, we could not be sure of his transformation.
Change is part of creation, which means it is happening all the time. In this day and time, it seems to be happening rapidly. How are we to move from surviving to thriving? I think God’s command to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 1:6-7 gives us a hint about what to do, “The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, you have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance…”
How will you begin to break camp and advance?
(A special thanks to my Peer Learning Group for suggestions. All Scripture references are NIV.)
These thoughts are from Rev. Jerry Chiles, one of our partners in ministry for the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Metroplex. He has served in various churches across the Southeast as an associate minister. Contact him for more information about how he can help you.