Thought for the Day: What will it mean to be the church in a post-pandemic world? I have done some reading, though not a lot, on what life was like after the Spanish Flu (1918-1920) as things returned to normal. Actually, from what I have read, it was a bit more of a challenge than some might have thought. I am pretty confident we will find it more demanding than ever imagined, with a great deal of need – economic, spiritual and emotional. Like any traumatic event, the idea of normal will be elusive, and for some who actually find it, they will be unsatisfied. I am of the belief that we are going to see a great yearning for meaning and purpose beyond what felt gratifying prior to the pandemic. Churches that desire to prepare themselves to speak to this yearning must recognize how these will be folks uninterested in pithy slogans and narrow rhetoric. They will be seeking community, but community that reflects the richness and complexity of the world. They will seek experience above dogma and pronouncements. They will want to come to a truth, not as a list of required beliefs, but in life-giving relationships. They will want to serve, but not necessarily in ways that simply acknowledge need, but wanting to transform the systems that created the needs in the first place. Will we be able to welcome the stranger, and will the stranger feel welcome in our midst? In the weeks to come, we will be preparing ourselves for the post-pandemic world. It is going to take more work than most of us would think.
Prayer: A moment like very few of us have ever experienced – a transition, a threshold, that will not come easy for us. Move among us, O God, and reveal to us the questions we need to be asking. Show us how to be the church, not for the pre-pandemic world, but the world that will emerge. Amen.
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