Sometimes I get things wrong. Back in March, I wrote an article ( which you should really read, if you haven’t - go do that now, I’ll wait) called “Into the Harvest Stays Home” where I gave a playbook of sorts of how we could move forward ‘in the harvest’ while also dealing with a global pandemic. Well, I’m here to tell you, I left out some steps!
Wait, let me sum up!
First, let me go over some of the things I did get right in my last article. First that we should work to make our homes a Light during this dark time. Also that now more than ever we should be careful when it comes to the dangers of Social Media, a place I didn’t think could get any worse than the 2016 Election (but once again, I was wrong). And that we should prepare to share with the many who don’t know Jesus, when we were finally able to head back out into the world, and so many will be searching for hope in this hard time.
This was all true. But it turns out there are some other things we as believers in the Harvest need to keep in mind as we enter these summer months ahead.
Treating Each Other Better Than Family
I did not take into account how hard the last few months would be and how hard the future looks to be. I hate to be a downer, but now more than ever it’s important to extend grace to those around us. Our own emotions are high, but for the first time - maybe in a generation - literally everyone around us is also struggling in similar ways!
We must take this time to do the hardest thing: Love each other well. As it seems with all families, don’t we fight more with each other than we do with people outside our family? But let us take the Lord’s words to heart: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” 1.
So whether our fellow believer decides to stay home or go back to business as usual, let's do our best to love each other in our differences and extend grace. Let us not judge each other for what truly isn’t a hard and fast issue.
The Lord Uses Change for Our Good-Let's Not miss it!
Which brings me to something else interesting that I missed back in March. The Lord was active and at work during this global pandemic; He always is. Change that comes, change that can’t be ignored, change that must be acted upon, has always been an M.O. for how the Lord works to move and purify His people. Think of the tower of Babel, think of every invading army through the time of the Judges, think of the early church facing persecution in Jerusalem. In every instance the Lord’s people are pushed out of their complacency, pushed back to Him and His plan and the Lord is glorified.
May we see the last few months of Church at home as just such a push. Now, let us take the time to look back and reflect. Before we head back into the “safety and security” of business as usual, let’s take a minute to see how we did as a Church.
Was it true that we were not, in fact, a building? Did we learn that we were more than our ‘rituals of service?’ What did we learn about our own faith during this difficult season? May this be a time of purification and not just a giant pause button.
Let's Not Grow Weary of Doing Good...
Which brings me to the last thing I missed back in March….did anyone else put on a few quarantine pounds? Maybe you had too much banana bread and not enough workouts while the gyms were closed? Well, then you know just like I do, how easy it is to get out of shape. How easy it is to get out of the habit of doing the work we are called to do as believers. I think of the verse “Do not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another and all the more as we see the day approaching.” 2. If we are honest, our selfish sides are always looking for reasons to excuse ourselves from putting others first, so social distancing became a legitimate reason to hide from such works. But let this be your friendly reminder that God is still calling us to look beyond ourselves and love and serve others...
So let us not miss our opportunity when it comes and when the Lord asks us to step back out into the work He has for us as we see the day approaching. For as it says,
“Let us not grow weary in doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we do not give up.” 3