Dear Christ Church Family,
In the midst of a national crisis and a global pandemic, I wanted to write to you with a word of hope. I believe that in the midst of all the noise and the advice that is clamoring around us, the ministry of the Church of Jesus Christ has the same goal it always does: to speak the truths of the Gospel into our current situation. The whole staff team is working diligently to help us to continue being the church on a practical level as well as on a spiritual level. God has commissioned us—all of us!—to go out into the world proclaiming the saving love of Jesus Christ, and nothing about that has changed. But there is a new opportunity here, and I want to spend some time reflecting on that with you.
The world around us is in panic mode. The spread of this virus is a novelty to all of us, and we’re not sure if we have the capacity to handle it. Our lives our being disrupted in ways we find hard to comprehend. As things get stripped away from us and we are forced into physical distancing and isolation, many are coming to the realization that many of the foundations of our secular society—personal freedom, convenience, entertainment, etc.—may not be as secure as we thought. Our lifestyles, freedoms, and understandings of meaning which form the foundations of modern secular society are more fragile than we believed, because they are built upon crucial political, social, and economic factors being in place. The fragility of these is being unveiled by a pandemic which is out of our control. Nothing has actually changed; we’re now simply seeing more clearly what has always been true—that the world can’t save us.
We who are in Christ already know this of course, but perhaps this is a new opportunity for you, personally, to realize where the foundation of your life actually is.
I wonder if in this time of extreme social disruption, if there is a different kind of disruption going on—a disruption of the Spirit. Perhaps the Lord is using this time to shake us up and to bring us to our knees so that we might surrender ourselves more fully to Him. Similar to how an addict needs an intervention to force himself to confront their problems, maybe the Holy Spirit is forcing us to stop, sit down, and hear some hard truths. Truths like:
We are not in control.
Life in this fallen world will end at some point.
We have been putting our trust in the wrong things.
These are hard things to come to terms with, but ignoring the reality of them will not serve anyone. And even as these hard truths are pressed in on us by our situation, the Spirit of God speaks an even deeper Truth to those with ears to hear:
We can know the One who holds the whole universe together (Colossians 1:17)
We are invited into eternal life (John 3:16)
The God who loves us is worthy of our trust, our life, our everything (Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 26:4; John 14:1; 1 Peter 5:7; etc, etc, etc.)
We who have been so formed by this world at times need to be shaken out of its illusions. We need to come face to face with reality, and sometimes that is hard. But I want to invite you to engage with the Truth, and experience the gentle yet strong love of the Holy Spirit who tells you what you need to hear even as He is right there with you to lead you into life and wholeness and peace.
In this disruption, let’s have eyes to see the opportunities for a movement of God’s Spirit. In tech start-up circles, the word “disrupt” is oven used in a radically positive way. You’ll hear it said how Uber disrupted the taxi industry, or AirBnB disrupted the hotel industry. These companies broke through existing paradigms and showed the world a new way to approach things. I believe that a movement of the Holy Spirit in the world will be highly disruptive, and will absolutely wreck our old ways of doing things. A movement of God will not be silenced or hindered by anything in this world, and that’s going to leave some collateral damage. Perhaps God is on the move here in ways that will far outmatch the economic and social impact of this pandemic. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is trying to bring about renewal in the Church and in the world. Historically, most revivals have taken place in the midst of or following after societal crises, so it would not be surprising to me in the least if God was up to something here. If He is, let’s have eyes to see it, and hearts willing to follow after Him in it.
But movements always begin with individuals whose lives have been upended, and who desire to see change. Renewal has to start with you. Are you ready for it?
As always, in loving service to Jesus and to you,
Rev. Ben Wulpi