Union Ridge Church

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

by Reverend Dan on March 16, 2022
“When are things going to get back to normal, Rev. Dan? You know, the way they were before Covid?” That’s the most asked question I get at church these days. Fears are abating as the numbers go down, and at least some sense of “normalcy” has returned. So, imagine everyone’s surprise when I answer, “Never.”

The world has changed greatly over the last two years, and so has the church. Things that once worked don’t anymore. And things that we never thought of in the past are becoming the norm. “But Preacher, I thought once they had this thing under control we’d circle back around and pick up where we left off.” I guess we all thought that, or at least imagined it. But as I found out reading my Bible recently, we’re not the only ones in the church who’ve thought that.

In the book of Ezra, the Israelites who had been held captive in Babylon were being released and allowed to go back to Jerusalem and worship together. Leading the first wave back was Nehemiah, who immediately began to rebuild the temple. Everyone was excited to get back to church as they knew it, and they began to worship God with songs of praise for His faithfulness once the foundation for the temple was laid.

As the second wave made its way back to Jerusalem - the ones who remembered Solomon’s original temple - they were also excited and ready to see the new temple and worship. But when they got there, they began to weep because the new temple was going to be different than the old one. They were asking the same question many are asking now: “Why can’t church be like it used to be? Why do things have to change?”

Right now, many churches are a mixture of joy and anticipation for what’s to come and grief for what once was that won’t ever be that way again. If your church is like that, it’s OK. We all adjust in our own way and in our own time. Just remember, however, that even though the second temple was different, God used it in a mighty way. It’s the place where Jesus taught, and it’s also where the veil was torn on Good Friday signaling that Jesus was leaving the cross to fight the final battle with death. God is laying a new foundation for the church, and we simply have to be patient and continue to worship. May we all find hope and joy in the presence of God as we await the glory He has in store as He fulfills His promise: “I am making all things new.”