A New Thing

Written by Toby Hedgepeth
Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

Scripture: Isaiah 43:19 – I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Reflection: The last few weeks have been interesting – to say the least. Almost without notice our lives have changed, and it’s seemingly impossible to imagine when a new thing will spring forth. It’s hard to envision a new day because we are all so stuck in the hopelessness of our news feeds, social media and figuring out how to be in community while also practicing “social distancing”.

I’ve seen lots of stories, advice and conspiracy theories online, but what I haven’t seen much of is community building. Everyone has an opinion, but not many have shared ideas of how we come together despite our imposed distance. Sure, churches are live streaming and folks are “going live” but what does that mean? Since church buildings have become irrelevant for now, how do we make a way in this place of wilderness? How, as God’s people, do we find rivers in the desert?

I will challenge you, over the next few weeks, to think of a new way of “gathering”. Maybe you can build an online community for your family, friends and neighbors to log in, synchronously, to pray, read scripture and/or have mini-sermons; allow space to laugh, cry and vent, as we all seek to find our way through this new thing. This new thing being isolation, new anxieties for some, heightened anxiety for others, fear of the future for ourselves, our children and everyone around us.

We have been forced into a new way of being – how will we respond? Will we answer with frustration and angst, or with hope and vision? Allow God to give you a vision for the people – in such a time as this.

Prayer: My God – my Redeemer and my Hope – give Your people a new vision. Allow us, even through the wilderness, to be salt and light. Allow us to gather in new ways so that even when the doors of the church are closed, our hearts remain open to Your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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