9th April – Brad
When calamity strikes there’s a natural human inclination to find safety. It’s in-built, a design feature and has been useful for keeping us alive. For Jesus-followers we have a second inclination – to look to God for what we do next, to look to Jesus for the appropriate posture towards the crisis and the church’s place in it.
As part of the Activate community, we understand that church isn’t a building or an event, or a series of events. It’s a bunch of very normal people who have decided that the way of Jesus is the hope of the world. That only through selfless love, sacrificial service, radical generosity and solidarity with the rejected, oppressed and suffering people of our community and world will we see the renewal of all things.
And so – beyond the essential actions to keep ourselves safe and emotionally healthy through physical distancing and social connection – it’s easy to know what our stance is not.
It’s not making the traditions and rituals of “the church” the priority. It’s not about our own comfort and convenience. It’s not engaging all of our effort in how we continue to “do church”. We know we don’t do church on Sundays and in catalyst groups anyway at those precious times we are the church gathered to remind ourselves of who we are, why we exist and to spur one another on towards love and good deeds.
Our posture is not one of huddling afraid, looking inwards, desperate to do the things we’re used to doing.
The real question is what our posture should be. When we look to Jesus, we know that it is looking outward. We know that our first question isn’t, “how do we gather?” but “how do we go and serve?” because we know that is what our gathering is for anyway – to strengthen one another for the sake of a broken world, hurting communities and anxious , grieving and desperate people. We know that any power and privilege, our creativity and whatever strength we have, belongs to those with less, those within our church community and those beyond, who will particularly be suffering now.
Our posture is one of gathering together, holding one another up, looking outwards, desperate to see the pain we’re surrounded by alleviated, eager to do whatever we can to join with God in setting the world to right. This is where we engage our creativity and our passion. This is where we become the evidence that God has not forsaken the poor.
In fact, it is for this very purpose that we exist at all.