Many of our churches are beginning to meet again. After a long time of sheltering in place and not being able to assemble, they are starting to congregate once more. I wonder if some of you are asking the question that I am. Now what? I mean everyone is talking about a new normal. We still must maintain physical distancing, wearing mask, sanitizing everything and no handshaking or hugging. Church may not ever be the same, so again now what.
The answer to that question can be found in, where else, but scripture. I am thinking of the beginning of the book of acts. Jesus is talking for the last time to the apostles. He gives them the charge to be witnesses for him all over the place. Then he ascends, leaving Peter and the other ten, (remember Judas is not with them and Mathias has not been chosen yet), just standing there. In my redeemed imagination, I see the ten disciples all turn to Peter, the Jesus appointed tender of the sheep and saying, “Peter, what now?” I envision a grin coming over Peter’s face as he replies, “We do what he said, we be his witnesses, we trust Jesus.”
Through it all we Trust Jesus
Many folks in our congregation may be asking the same question, now what? Our answer must be the same as the above, we trust Jesus, we do what He has called us to do. We go right back to being the church, doing what the church is suppose to do. We embrace this new normal. The 11 apostles had been engaged in a new normal for a while. They had left, fishing, tax collecting and other careers behind to follow Jesus. They their “normal” or perhaps I should say, natural lives to live supernatural ones. The moment they laid down their nets, their life would never be the same. They were going to face numerous trials and tribulations. But through it all, they trusted Jesus.
Infect the World with the Gospel
Maybe they are recalling the words of Joshua 1:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” They knew that although Jesus may not be with them in person, He was with them in spirit. This little group of twelve guys was able to turn the world upside down for Jesus because of their faith. They believed in the promises of God. They did not let some crisis or bad situation stop them from their Messiah given task. You may be part of a small church; this virus may have impacted your congregation in a big way. But with big faith in our big God, we can turn our little corner of the world upside down for Jesus. So, if someone asks you, “now what?” You respond, “we spread the love of Jesus.” We, please excuse the word choice here, infect the world with the gospel. We offer the only real cure for the disease in this world, salvation. And when the next person you lead to Christ, ask now what do I do? Well, you know the answer to that.