Guest post by Rev. Scott Lees, Executive Pastor & Chief of Staff
Over the last month our family has started to read through the Jesus Storybook Bible once again. The boys climb up in bed, we read one or two of the chronological stories and then discuss a couple questions.
In the season of uncertainty we find ourselves in, you can’t help but see many parallels between the Israelites’ experience spending 40 years in the desert and where we are as a church today.
Imagine what it must have been like to watch God deliver you miraculously from slavery to the Egyptians. Then imagine the confidence you must have felt knowing that the one true God was ultimately leading you and your family to the Promised Land. My guess is you would be filled with hope, excitement and end-of-the-school-year expectations. Then imagine the days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and months turn into 40 years of waiting. How would you respond?
Like me, I’m sure many of you are ready for the promised land of on-site worship. I want to return to church. I desperately want to see my friends and connect to people beyond the walls of my house or the edges of my driveway.
Today, I wish I could write to you and say, “Here is when we will return for Sunday worship.” Unfortunately, your staff and lay leaders are still waiting on God to give us the GPS coordinates. Like Moses and the leaders during the wilderness journey, we are faithfully seeking God first for guidance and discernment. We are not only listening individually but also collectively for God to tell us when to go. We understand that lives and livelihoods are at stake and feel the responsibility that comes with tough leadership decisions.
This waiting is a Gospel transformation moment. Regardless of the uncertainty or differences in opinion, we can hold on to the Gospel, which unites us all. We know that God is with us, and He is leading our leaders. Our faith and patience are being stretched with every passing week, but we know from experience that the time in the wilderness is where God grows us the most.
Please join us in prayer as a number of important meetings take place next week. The Executive Committee meets on Monday, and our Medical Advisory Team meets on Tuesday. Also, we will join pastors from congregations across our city to discuss and discern the next steps.
In the meantime, we are preparing for our promised land moment. The sermon series for the summer months is ready to go, worship services are coordinated, the facilities are being prepared and signage welcoming everyone back is being sent to the printer. There is growing anticipation, but for now we wait.