Most of my life I have been observing religion, churches and leaders thereof. I guess trying to make sense of God’s Kingdom here on earth and how it all fit together. Simply because I love God.
When it was announced that churches would close their doors due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, my heart was deeply sad and troubled. As I stood there serving in church the last Sunday before lockdown, I asked God: “What now?” The more I brought my case before God about how people needed the church, the more He reminded me about what was truly needed and what was meant to be found again.
We needed to remember Him and each other in a new way. Serving Him is never about the cameras, lights, shows or politics but it is about loving Him and loving others when we don’t have cheerleaders.
He reminded me about what church should be like. A place where He dwells within each one of us and all around us, and not in mansions made of wood and stone. He reminded me about what He loved most and that is for us to live in unity with Him and share our lives with Him.
These past few weeks we all witnessed how the church rose up in a new way. We saw communities standing together and reaching out to the poor and needy. The rush of the world stopped and we had time to really consider one another because we were afraid.
The church became humble and walked with the poor, sick and needy. Whether a person was rich or poor, it made no difference, we all were in the same boat.
These times taught us about how much of life we can control and that nothing is for certain except God. These times taught us about what is truly valuable and precious. Family. Not just our own family but the family of God through the Body of Christ.
These times reminded me about what is truly important about my relationship with God and what I called church. It taught me that the churches of this world will come and go but the true Church of Jesus Christ will stand forever and that revelation should set us free.
Will church ever be the same for me? No. Church for me has changed forever.
By Stella Ashworth