Pastor's Pen 17th May 2020 - next level

Today I said in the hearing of others; 'I'm so glad I wasn't confined to a small apartment in Spain (or similar) during lock-down.' To be honest, my running and biking mileage have gone up in the alert level restrictions. I guess all that time I would have spent stuck in traffic and going places became available. Those times of exercise are essentially times of prayer and thinking. Sometimes the best endings for sermons arrive near the conclusion of a long run. I just have to make sure the ideas don't get washed down the plughole in the shower.

Speaking of ideas, I've noted the social media debate about the timing and details of the different lock-down levels becoming a touch more polarized and niggly as time has gone on. In these online times, there is a sense of inevitability about this process, where the social media soapbox escalates the human tendency to offer one's opinion whether it is needed or not.

I have deliberately not engaged in such arguments, sensing that my role is primarily to find ways to pray into the situation, trying to engage spiritual eyes and ears for what comes next. What is God saying in all of this?

Of course, the latest thing is that churches can't open yet because gatherings of more than ten are prohibited. People are now huffing and puffing about human rights, essential services and so on. My way of thinking is that we're doing remarkably well with online church, what's another couple of weeks? Let us not be the ones chaffing to get back to normal and causing resentment, and even possibly increasing possibilities of infection.

Something in me does want to get back to normal, but something in me wants to explore new ways of doing things that have been sparked in isolation. Sometimes praying is easy in this season, other times virtually impossible. But God is moving, and Pentecost is coming.

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