There was an interesting conversation in the Men’s Bible study this morning that has been drifting in and out of my thoughts through the day. We were talking about the decisive moment in Israel’s history when God rescued the Hebrew people out of slavery from Egypt and then wandered with them in the desert and gave them 10 commandments. I mentioned to the group that in this period of time Israel’s relationship with God was sealed. That relationship was forged in these very difficult moments, and indeed, Israel looked back to them with great fondness because God was in their midst protecting them, calling them forward and shaping them into God’s own people. To this day the Jewish people remember these events at Passover each year. They retell the story of God’s faithfulness to Israel even as it is a story of very challenging moments.
In the same way we remember the last days of Jesus’ life. Every year at Holy week we remember the last supper, the agonizing prayer at Gethsemane, the arrest, the trial, the crucifixion and burial. We remember resurrection and hope that sprang out of these very difficult moments, and we remember that God made us into his people through these events.
It was at this moment that one of the men asked, “So should we be looking for rainbow and the good gifts of God to be coming at the end of this coronavirus?” Of course we all laughed, but there’s something to this question. I wonder if we should be on the lookout for how God is reshaping us as his people, calling us to become new, and remaking his church. If we are wise, we will take these very difficult days and use them to draw close to our God and listen for the leading of the Lord. I think the church, our community and our nation are going to be very different when we come out of this pandemic. God grant that we be bound even more closely to our Lord and his purposes through these difficult days.
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