I've tried not to kick against the constraints of lock-down levels 2 to 4 and back down again. I prefer to see them as a space into which God can speak, both through Word and Spirit. We have been able to reflect on loss, change and innovation in this season, hopefully with a touch of humour and some much needed fresh air to help us through.
I was chatting to a colleague about my style of leadership. His observation was that sensing and responding was my style, rather than managing and controlling. This had a sniff of authenticity about it, as an observation. I'm sure this needs to be augmented and complimented by others with a variety of skills and attributes.
Recently, I have observed the expected arm wrestles as to how we proceed from here, politically, economically, socially, diplomatically, spiritually and practically. The temptation for Christians generally, and pastors specifically, is to feel persecuted by the fact that bars and brothels have been able to get back to business (so to speak) but churches have not. Conspiracy theories abound, and would be prophets raise their voices, or become tigers from behind the screen of a laptop. My response is to observe and respond with prayer and thought, before acting or speaking. That's just the way it is for now.
I prefer to take the added week or two of pause as a chance for prayer and preparation. I'm pretty sure the (self-proclaimed) Apostle/Bishop Brian Tamaki has a team of paid techs, gophers, ushers, admins and roadies at Destiny Church to get the show back on the road pretty fast. We do not. We need to resume meetings mindful of the existing government restrictions and acknowledging that many sisters and brothers in the Lord still feel reluctant to engage publicly, for a variety or reasons, both personal or practical. We might be a skeleton crew for a while. Let's face it, churches and choirs around the world have spawned some pretty significant Covid clusters.
We are a community containing diverse personalities, political ideologies and opinions on the national response to Covid 19. And yet, in our diversity, we can still claim unity and harmony in Jesus Christ. This is largely the work of the Holy Spirit among God's people, as they dwell upon the Word of God, in fellowship and in prayer. It is appropriate that we meet this weekend, remembering the first Pentecost of the Christian Church with thankfulness. In faith, I believe God is taking a grip on God's people at this time, and we would do well to remain in an attitude of thankfulness and prayerful vigilance as God continues to lead us as a faithful shepherd through this year, expectant of his real presence. Come Holy Spirit.