It took a global pandemic to break the church. Not God's Church, mind you. But the more prevalent model of church found in America today. All these buildings? Done. Is God bothered by this? Nah. After all, God's church was never a building. Try to find the building the church of Ephesus met in? Corinth? Good luck. Cause the New Testament Church was never about a building. God's church was never about a building.
Regardless of buildings, in the midst of Coronavirus, the Church - the Bride of Christ - is resilient.
Why did God orchestrate Coronavirus? Revelation 1 speaks of God being the "first and the last". If this is true, He is in the midst of Covid-19. Romans 13 tells us that all authority is established by God, so how far away are we from saying that the calls to be on lockdown and stay socially distant are directed from Him? Jesus himself says in Matthew 6 for us to seek first God, and not to worry about tomorrow. Because God is in control.
The buildings we've built for our houses of worship are locked down. Our temples are useless. The typical church model is broken, temporarily. And while some may be discouraged in this season, strangely, I'm not. God is not surprised by our current status. What if, and this may be crazy, what if He orchestrated Covid-19 to prove a point? Anybody remember that time the God tore the temple veil to prove a point (Matthew 27)? I'm telling you, man is constantly about building altars, buildings, physical monuments to God. After all, man looks at outward appearance. God has other priorities (I Samuel 16).
What's the lesson in Coronavirus? I don't know, nor would I even attempt a guess and insult the all-knowing God. But what I do know is that in the midst of Coronavirus, and coming out of this socially distant season... our church... our economy... our culture... literally our world will change. It's already changing before our eyes. Day by day. Hour by hour almost. We will not return back to status quo. Pastor, please hear me. The world you lived in February 2020 is gone. It will never come back. We need to think differently. And that's okay. Because God is thinking differently too.
Our church, our model of church, is broken.
Broken is the perfect place for us to be.
Our model of church, in its broken state, is being humbled before God... patiently waiting to be put back together by God for His purposes in his timing. By the way, if God is behind this and has broken the church, why would he put it back together exactly like it was before? The whole reason to be broken before God is to be reshaped by God. Why would God break us only to rebuild us exactly the way we were? There's a newness in this season. A new creation is in our midst, in our church, waiting to give birth.
Jesus in typical fashion, brings it home.
Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
Simply put, Church, if God has broken us... and in the breaking process we're seeking after Him... then He's rebuilding us, His Church, in new ways. Let's humbly be ready with new wineskins for the new wine He's bringing. Be ready in this season when the new wine presents itself. And above all else, in this season, humbly seek God.