There is one common denominator in this current season of living under Lockdown at various levels, and that is ‘CHANGE’. Learning to adapt and to survive has been our reality. Many people’s lives have been turned upside down. People feel isolated and many people have even drifted away from their faith, and their church families. Christians, in particular, seem to have lost their way, and have got out of rhythm with the spiritual disciplines that our Lord has called us to in His Word, and have retreated into themselves. This is a dangerous place to be. So, is there a way to keep moving forward in this season of change? Is there way to keep on growing, as Christians, in this season? I believe there is!
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he implores his listeners with these words: ‘So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh’ (Galatians 5:16), and again, ‘Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.’ (Galatians 5:25). I believe what Paul is saying to us today is this: keep rhythm with the Holy Spirit, so that you do not lose your way in a season of change and uncertainty. These seasons of change can throw us about, and that’s why need a clear focus: keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, and embracing His rhythms. What does that mean for us practically in this season? Let me share with you the rhythms the Holy Spirit has taught me, and which I have been sharing with the Holy Trinity Church family:
Firstly, commit to a regular daily quiet time with the Lord, spending time in His Word and in prayer and worship. Secondly, commit to join in our worship service every Sunday at a dedicated time, as you would when church buildings are open for worship. Encourage your family to worship together, whether in our church when we are able, or in our homes as we enjoy the virtual services together. Thirdly commit to fellowship with your cell groups regularly, whether in person when our groups are able to meet, or via zoom and other virtual forms of meeting together. Fourthly, if there are online Bible Studies, taking place, make sure that join in the weekly online Bible Studies or that you watch the recordings, as though you were part of the Bible Study. Fifthly, why not commit to a daily prayer walk in your street or neighborhood, and if you are able, why not do a litter pick up on your prayer walk. Sixthly, I have proposed daily times for us to pray in front of our houses (at 07h00 and/or 18h00): to pray life and blessing over our community, to plead the blood of Jesus over our street and neighborhood, and to pray for more of Jesus grace, power and presence in our community. Make this one of your daily disciplines. Seventhly, why not commit weekly to contribute or to involve yourself in one of our church’s projects. This can be something small like making peanut butter sandwiches for the food drop, or making a small pot of soup, or contributing some non- perishable food for our food parcels. The main things is to make a commitment and to keep it regular. Eighthly, be faithful in bringing your monthly tithe into the storehouse, which is our church.
These are some very basic disciplines, but if we embrace them, they will become the good rhythms that the Holy Spirit will use in keeping us in step with Him in this season of change. These rhythms of the Holy Spirit, as put forth in the Word of God, are constant and true, and do not need to change, no matter whether we are physically able to be with the Body of Christ (when the restrictions are lifted) or whether we are physically apart. We are still the Body of Christ, and these rhythms of the Spirit, keep us moving forward together: ‘There is one body, and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.’ (Ephesians 4:4-6)
I love these words that the Xhosa members of our congregation taught me about being the Body of Christ, wherever we are: “Qaqamb’ ekoneni aph’ukhona” (Brighten the corner where you are… where you are). These rhythms of the Spirit that I have described to you today, enable us to keep growing as the Body of Christ. It enables us to keep moving forward together, and it allows us to be part of the Body of Christ, even when we are unable to be together physically.
So, let’s keep rhythm together, with the Spirit, in this season of change.
Bless you all!