In the past five weeks that I’ve been working from home and sheltering in place, the Lord has shown me many things about this season that He can use and is using for good. One is about how important it is to use this time of sheltering in place to reflect upon the nature of the kingdom of God: the “now/not yet” of it.
Even during these difficult times, the bodily life of Christ’s church – and the local expression of His church, of which you are a member – still exists! Press into it!
Do all you can to be faithful to it: Be that one to call a different member of your church family each day to check on them, meeting online for worship services and prayer, interacting with your brothers and sisters on social media, messaging those who prefer text messages, or writing physical letters, which arrive in mailboxes like glorious little gifts! Do all of that, knowing that the day will come when you will be together again: speaking in person, worshiping together in person, singing together in unison, praying together, not just in spirit but in body as well, sharing in the Lord’s table together, and fellowshipping and interacting in all of those personal, physical, together ways.
And as we do this, let it open your eyes to the glorious reality that, similarly, Christ’s kingdom already exists in His Body, His Church!
We are each His kingdom citizens and His citizenry is His kingdom… right now! Yes, this means we are a citizenry, physically sheltering in place in a fallen body, quarantined in a fallen, sinful world. But like the internet, He gave us even more glorious tools provided by the Spirit to be His citizens right now, spreading the message of the kingdom now while we wait for the King to return, and forever cure the virus of sin and lift the quarantine! So while we long for that day, we don’t ignore our kingdom calling and purpose in the discomfort of our current quarantine!
Stay uncomfortable with worshiping and living your church-body life online or via phone or social media.
Don’t let it become your new normal… your permanent perspective or routine. But also be vigorous to do it faithfully and with the power and creativity of the Spirit until this time passes. The same way we should have a level of uncomfortableness in these bodies of flesh and this fallen world, but one that makes us that more aware of our need to be active in it and vigorously doing what we are called to do as His body until this age passes and He returns.