Déjà vu: the sense or feeling of having previously experienced something that has been encountered before.
That describes how I felt when I read the “Special Announcement” last Friday saying that “due to the recent COVID-19 situation and the new regulations from the Thai government… we will not have any worship service in church this Sunday.” Inwardly, I groaned. Oh, no… not THIS again! After weeks of being lulled into feeling that life was somewhat “normal” again we’re going back to… ??? Ugh. Definitely déjà vu.
March 22nd marked a year (!?!) since we first started meeting for church on-line. For fifteen weeks we gained a whole new appreciation for our pastoral staff and the preaching and worship teams as they worked tirelessly with the tech team to continue leading us in worship and learning from God’s Word. We both eagerly and somewhat apprehensively rejoiced when we could meet together in person again last July! And then… it happened again for four weeks in January.
And now… once again we’re grappling with uncertainty and a roller coaster of hopes and fears and what if’s as we wait to see what happens next with regards to this latest outbreak.
I can’t help but wonder if some of the things I thought I had learned back then are now being revisited – as a reminder, so to speak. But also, perhaps, taking those lessons a notch deeper. I had written in my agenda, at the end of 2020, that some of the lessons I had learned (or better stated, started to learn) this past year were:
• God can stop the world/silence the globe in an instant, disrupting our plans and surfacing our beliefs/core values. Therefore, I need to hold my plans lightly, keeping an open palm to the Lord.
• Relationships are key!! Therefore, I need to make them a priority.
Once again I’m being forced to address the “control” issue: do I really, totally believe in a God who IS in control of all of life – even (especially!) the hard parts? Have I subtly reverted back to trusting my own efforts instead of His? If I say relationships are important, then how is that evidenced in how I spend my time? What is God wanting to show us – show me—about His character? His purposes?
Yep. Déjà vu.
I’m not sure how this latest potential COVID threat may be affecting you, but please… remember… YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We at CMCC want to continue reaching out to one another, supporting one another in whatever ways we can. Ask for help if you need it… or be the help someone needs if you are able. That’s how we’ll continue growing as a healthy community, a community of healing.
“If you ask, ‘Why is this happening?’ no light may come, but if you ask, ‘How am I to glorify God now?’ there will always be an answer.”
– J.I. Packer, Canadian theologian and author
Stay healthy! Stay safe! STAY CONNECTED!
On behalf of the Pastoral Care Team (firstname.lastname@example.org)