Historians love moments like this. The COVID-19 pandemic naturally enables modern historians to carefully introduce a break in the zig-zag of world history creating of a new chapter: a reference point for social change, transition and profound transformation.
So too for the Church. We have experienced such pivotal moments in church history that we can flag up, one of the biggest ones being revival. The question is, is this another chapter on revival?
Something significant is happening
The last few months have been incredibly difficult for many. In America alone, at the time of writing, over 100,000 COVID-19 related deaths have been recorded. Naturally, it has been a time of sober contemplation where people have often called out to God for intervention either for themselves or for loved ones, friends and neighbours. Some people have comforted themselves on God’s promises – including the though provoking writings of the biblical prophets, “This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” (Haggai 1:7)
People have been, thinking, praying, reflecting and asking questions. And God has been listening.
God has been listening
People have been, thinking, praying, reflecting and asking questions. And God has been listening. That’s not all. As public social gatherings and meetings were called to a halt to protect lives from an unseen but fierce virus, the Church responded. Like a young eagle perched on the edge of the nest, it flapped its wings clumsily at first with online social media, and then suddenly it all came together and all across the nations the church took to church online.
Thousands suddenly have gathered together with their families at home and joined in with eager devotion watching weekly recorded sermons, worship, communion and messages from friends on their computers, phones and television. Churches have looked at their viewing figures and seen a substantial increase, far beyond their normal attendance figures. Someone else is watching. The gospel is influencing more people than ever.
Remember the parable about the sower? (Matthew 13:1-9) Well, more seed has been cast than ever before. I think you will see the ramifications.
God is at work – revival?
The big picture is that phenomenal things are happening in the Church today
God is doing something new in our midst, and unlike anything we’ve seen before. God’s never not at work, neither is He ever slumbering or sleeping – and He is always establishing and building His Church.
The big picture is that phenomenal things beyond our comprehension are happening in the Church today. Its present-day growth would astonish the apostles of the early church. If Peter, John and Paul were to see what all their hard work led to, and the massive legacy they undoubtedly gave they would be speechless.
God is with you
Whilst things will continue to be difficult in terms of dealing with the virus, God will continue to be God. He’ll be moving between His people with the same audacious, extravagant and abundant blessings and encouragement as He always has done amongst His people.
God undoubtedly knew this day was coming. It’s a new chapter and it undoubtedly has some extraordinary content!
It could also be the concluding chapter.
Stay safe – keep yourself in the love of God, be alert because your enemy is like a roaring lion, looking who to devour!
Read this by Adrian Warnock: 70% of churches are growing – The Covid19 Awakening