I’ve been noticing people who are taking advantage of the disruption to our life patterns due to Covid-19 and social distancing. Road construction seemed to kick off in high gear this year, taking advantage of less people on the roads. Some stores (non-grocery) are renovating or doing projects internally, taking advantage of less people in the store. More people are out for walks, out for runs, out for bike-rides, taking advantage of the outdoors as gyms are closed. Personally, Kate and I have been going on more walks and exercising outside, and we’re having our bathroom redone.
I’ve heard and read people say that they don’t want things to go back to the way they were. They want some of the different things they’ve experienced and enjoyed to continue on. No one in our household has thus far made a similar comment with respect to our bathroom. Using the kitchen sink for washing faces and brushing teeth, and timing bathroom breaks for when we can get into the bathroom, isn’t inspiring the same response as spending extra time with family members, and enjoying God’s creation as we exercise outside, rather than inside.
There are also a lot of great things happening in our church. More guests and extended family members have joined us for worship than normally might. We’ve experienced a willingness to experiment with technology, worship style, teaching and learning, and playing. We’ve had to innovate in order to continue to connect in areas important to us. Things that may have sounded impossible a few months ago, have been happening. When the way we are doing things is stripped away, we get to see and work for the things that are really important to us.
As the vanity, cabinets, and shower doors came out, and the walls came down in our bathroom, some of it was easy. We didn’t want those walls. Maybe we don’t need an over the toilet cabinet. But we really want a toilet, a tub/shower, a sink, lights and a mirror. We have made adjustments to our daily routine around those things that we want and need the bathroom to be. And we know the freedom we have with the rest of the details, like the color of the sink. We assumed we wanted shower doors, but thinking about the future, a curtain may be easier to deal with for a little while.
As parts of daily life and the patterns of church life we have become accustomed to have been stripped away, we get down to what is essential, and what we truly value. We see in Acts a group of believers who are not limited by proximity, nor by social walls. They connected with each other through letters, visiting in person, as well as sending others on their behalf, and sharing financial blessings to help those struggling. Basically they used every means at their disposal to connect with each other and stay connected as one body.
And all who believed were together and had all things in common. -Acts 2:44
Those things that are necessary for us, God has done and continues to do. God has given us the gift of a pattern of work and rest, the pattern of worshipping together, and the gifts of His Word, prayer, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. He has given us all to each other as servant gifts, with different roles and responsibilities. God has given the gift of His Son, His Spirit, and His parenting as our Father. We look for guidance in all we do in His Word. And the reality is that much of the rest we have freedom with.
As our bathroom is going back together, I’m looking forward to how daily life will be put back together. What am I going to jump right back into (meeting in homes for lifeGroup, when we can) and what am I going to leave behind?
As we have been discussing when we will return to in-person worship, and when we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper, what are we going to decide we need to continue, and what may be left behind? We have been given so much freedom, and so many gifts. What are you most looking forward to?
Pastor and D.M.M.