Post-Lockdown Church

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  (John 15:9-11)

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.  (John 15:16)

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
“Why is Church unity needed even more in a Covid world?” I hear you ask.

Well, it’s fair to say that none of us could have imagined the last twelve months would have looked like they have done. Although God’s faithfulness, kindness and goodness has been incredible, it’s also fair to say that living through this pandemic has had a profound impact on what it means for us to be united together as a church family. Many people feel more united than ever before to their church family, due to daily Zoom calls and Whatsapp messages. Others feel the opposite. Many of us are desperately waiting for the Church to ‘reopen’. But there’s a very simple reason why that isn’t really what is about to happen after lockdown. It’s this: The church never ‘closed’!

Through our Everyday Devotions this week, we’ve taken time to invite the Holy Spirit to remind us that by God’s grace and justification we all now have a secure standing before him and we’ve all been welcomed and adopted into his family. Not into his service. Not into his ministry. Not into his church building. But into his family. Did Covid affect the way that we were able to meet together? Yes, massively. But did it close our family? No, not at all.

Many people assume, with restrictions easing and life returning to ‘normal’, we will quickly and eagerly start to satiate our craving for social connection. That may be true. But for many, both inside and outside the Everyday community, there might also be a habit to break. Since we haven’t been together as we might have liked, it would be easy for us to assume that we don’t actually need people around us as much as we used to think we did. I think that would be a terrible shame.

Our unity and investment in one another as a church family needs to remind a lonely and increasingly isolated city that healthy community is vital. It doesn’t just need to do so – it will do so, because God has determined that it will do so. As we reflect the oneness of our love and hope, as brothers and sisters in Christ, the people who live around us will see it and will want it. Our city is just so dislocated and has become very used to living in hiding, each of us behind our own front doors. So let’s continue to demonstrate to our city that life is better when we’re joined together with others. Nobody wants to join a disunited family, so let’s persevere in keeping unity and preserving that bond of peace. It’s an attractive characteristic that is in short supply elsewhere.

Our unity and commitment to each other is precious and it will always be the vehicle for God’s mission and the purposes he has for us. Covid can’t hinder that and it won’t hinder that. Hallelujah.
  1. Who has been a blessing to you recently? Why not send them a message now to thank them for what that has meant to you in this season?
  2. What habits and distractions are currently in place in your life that hinder you gathering with brothers and sisters from your Church family?
  3. Who in your Church family have you grown disconnected from, who you might have felt close to before lockdown started? Today is the day to reach out to them.
  4. Who is in your life now that could invite to Everyday Online or to your Life Group gathering?
Father God, help me to see that your people reflect your Kingdom to the world and that I have an important part to play in this. If in any way I have believed the lie that the coronavirus has changed my position or contribution to the life of my church family, please release me from that. Please help me and my brothers and sisters at Everyday Church to reflect the beauty of unity to the communities and neighbourhoods we live in. For your glory. Amen.
Today’s Everyday Devotions were written by Adam Bream, who leads our Southfields venue.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.
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