No doubt we are living in a time where an accurate description is difficult to find. We might perhaps be able to agree on some things; none of us would have picked this situation, and no one could have predicted the degree to which it would alter our lives. We are all looking forward to regathering as the church in person (which thankfully seems somewhat close) but please do not let mere "normal" be the climax of our longing. Hopefully, the last few weeks have altered our way of thinking, especially as followers of Christ, making us more heavenly minded, longing for a better, perfect kingdom. There is also a reason that our current gathering situation seems lacking, it is missing necessary components. Jared Wilson, Director of For the Church at Midwestern Seminary, describes this reality well:
"If church is simply about a religious content download, then certainly online options are suitable replacements. But if something else is taking place, if there is something "spiritually" significant about the people "physically" gathering, no substitute can be "the same". We might look at the options available to us these days as acceptable crutches for a time of hinderance. But when the hinderance is gone, we toss aside the crutches."
Without hesitation we hope that the crutches of our current situation can be tossed aside as soon as possible. Being in community with people, which actually means being with people, is a desire all people have because they are made in the image of God, but should be a deep desire for the church--followers of Christ. As we look to lay aside the crutches let us not rush to the way things were without meaningful contemplation of what we have learned. Let us kneel, run, seek after, and long for Jesus. Let the fact that we long for an eternal kingdom drive us to see our current situation as an opportunity to tell people about the kingdom we long for and its glorious and gracious King. Followers of Jesus are the bride of Christ, the family God, the body of Christ, and have a biblical mandate to make disciples. As we begin taking steps to come together fix your mind on Jesus, "the author and perfecter of our faith". Ask Jesus to help us be selfless, to shine His light through us, and to let our church family be obedient to the Word of God.