April 24, 2020by Reverend Dan on April 24, 2020
“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"”
I am a “member” of an informal small group of preachers who met periodically via email and share information. (I know, “Who’s listening because in a roomful of preachers, everyone’s talking.” Very funny.) We all had a great laugh recently when we compared notes and issues our congregants have brought to us over the last few weeks. Talk about different perspectives. Here are some of the comments we have received.
Our on-line attendance is increasing every week.
Our on-line attendance is decreasing every week.
Our giving is increasing every week.
Our giving is decreasing every week.
I think we’ll be back meeting by May.
I think it’s going to be in the fall before we start back.
I think it’ll probably be next year sometime before we get back to church.
When we can meet again, the church will be packed.
When we can meet again, no one will be there because they’ll be out of the habit of church and want to keep going “on-line”.
Our church is going to be great as a result of this.
This is really going to hurt and change things for years to come at our church.
We’ve applied for and been accepted for the CARES Act.
We’ve applied for and been denied for the CARES Act.
We can’t get on-line to apply for the CARES Act because the website keeps crashing.
We didn’t apply for the CARES Act because we wanted to maintain the separation of church and state.
We’re finally over-the-hump on this crisis.
We’re just at the beginning of this crisis.
Our staff is floundering because they don’t know what to do.
Our staff has stepped up and continues to offer many options to connect.
WARNING: Depending on how you see your church, your mileage may vary!
It’s all about perspective. There’s an old saying about “the boat you find yourself in”. Depending on your perspective, it may be a rowboat, or it may be a yacht. Depending on your perspective, you may be sailing in calm waters or trying to navigate a stormy sea. But here’s the bottom line: it’s your boat so you have a choice. You can trust the captain, or you can panic.
It’s still too early to say where this is going or how fast or for how long. But whatever happens, remember that Jesus is in the boat with us. Trust that He is in control of not only the boat, but of the storm as well.
“Father, Help us to look to Your Son, who calms not only the storms of life, but our souls as well. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”